Parking cannot be ignored. The personal automobile has had a significant effect on the way that we move around this Region. As we move towards complete communities within a series of urban centres, connected by fast, frequent and reliable transit services,ensuring the right amount of parking has become more important than ever.
Surface parking, at the ratios currently required by many jurisdictions, requires significant amounts of land and resources which can displace more desirable uses and bring down the quality of environment. Surface parking can be replaced with structured parking facilities to make more efficient use of land; however, this can be costly to develop.
Also, an oversupply of parking at the outset of development may result in an oversupply in parking overtime. As opportunities for redevelopment present themselves, it is important for municipalities to prevent an oversupply of parking at the outset, and help shift travel behaviour towards other modes of transportation besides the automobile.
Reducing parking requirements over time, in concert with the delivery of transit services, can strike an appropriate balance of parking within the community. Municipalities should adopt reduced parking standards that support and encourage transit-oriented development. Some municipalities have established an agency to manage a supply of paid parking, particularly in areas similar to the Region’s Centres and Corridors. Arrangements to provide for parking spaces above or below municipally owned land, such as parks or roadways, are often used in urban municipalities to support higher density residential and employment uses.
More information on this topic and others can be found in our Best Practices for Planning Centres and Corridors.