The following is a blog post from the Collaborative Design Group’s Landscape Architect, John Olson of Olson Planning & Urban Landscapes.
Parking is always a matter that needs addressed with any sort of development. Downtowns and urban centers are certainly not an exception to the rule. Regardless of the district density or scale, parking is always a necessity that can be handled with street parking.
The most effective method of parking, especially in the areas between T-4 and T-6 on the rural-to-urban transect, is by providing parking on the street. Street parking is effective in many aspects of the urban environment of providing an urban environment while providing this basic element – Parking. The most obvious benefit to street parking is availability of front-door parking spaces. These spaces are always the most coveted; some will travel around the block to find these optimal parking spaces in lieu of surface parking lots. The businesses benefits from an additional buffer between traffic and the business, increased pedestrian activity, and the appearance of increased business activity. The following are the most effective parking standards for street parking:
Parallel Parking: Parallel parking achieves the greatest efficiency in terms of the street cross-section, or the distance from curb to curb across a street. However, it is the least efficient in terms of quantity of spaces provided. Many cities and downtowns utilize on-street parallel parking, which typically should have a dimension of 8-ft x 22-ft for maneuvering in high turnovers. The following image shows how a typical 300-ft long block has the capacity for 13 parallel parking spaces, or 46 parking spaces around a block.
Angled Parking (60°): Of the appropriate street parking options, angled parking provides a great amount of efficiency as well as providing a user-friendly method for parking on the street. Generally, it should be used in areas as a means of traffic calming and as a way of providing efficient on-street parking. The downfall is the additional street width necessary to accommodate angled parking. Where both sides of the street have angled parking a minimum cross-section of 60-ft is necessary. The following image shows how a typical 300-ft long block has the capacity for 27 parking spaces, or 102 parking spaces around a block (more than double the amount of parallel parking spaces).
Back-In Angled Parking (60°): Back-in angled parking (or reverse- angled parking) has similar advantages to that of Angled Parking. Generally, it is actually one of the more efficient ways of providing street parking due to visibility and ease of exiting a parking space. When reverse angled parking is utilized, less maneuvering space is needed in the street cross-section. The following image shows how a typical 300-ft long block has the capacity for 27 parking spaces, or 102 parking spaces around a block.
Angled Parking (45°): 45° angled parking is utilized in many historic downtowns where right-of-way space is limited. The angle of the parking decreases the necessary adjacent lane width along with the setback from the curb for the lane to begin. 30° angled parking can also be used in extreme conditions, however it is very uncommon. Where right-of-ways are very limited, most municipalities will utilize the parallel parking option. The following image shows how a typical 300-ft long block has the capacity for 22 parking spaces, or 80 parking spaces around a block.
The Importance of Street Parking (Planetizen)
On-Street Parking Enhancements (WalkingInfo.org)