Cities are striving to keep up with the rapid speed of change as the private sector continues to dominate travel choices.
Fremont, CA : Technology is transforming the way we fly and do business. Changes in technology also brought into question the parking industry'scapacity requirements. How much parking do cities really need? How much of a portion of parking professionals' budgets and programs should be devoted to addressing today's parking issues versus those of tomorrow? Before attempting to address these concerns, it is necessary to discuss three of the most critical issues influencing the future of parking:
Autonomous Vehicles: Experts in transportation generally agree that autonomous vehicles can minimize the amount of parking we need, but they differ on the extent of the reduction. Although some claim that when autonomous vehicles are combined with on-demand ride services like Uber or Lyft, car ownership will rapidly decrease or vanish, others believe that many people will still want to buy a vehicle for weekend trips and rides outside of their regular commute. This complicates the situation for cities struggling with parking space problems today. Faced with mounting pressure to increase parking, city officials must decide whether to construct more parking now or preserve the status quo.
Online Retail: The growth of online commerce has had a major impact on traditional shopping malls and retail centers. For years, land-use planning at these sites has centered on providing a significant amount of parking to meet seasonal spikes. Cities are left with vacant space and concerns about how much parking is needed at these locations as storefront rentals decline.
Generation Y Preferences: Related to No. 1, car ownership is a common parking issue, and signs suggest that millennials are less likely to buy a car than their forefathers. Many members of Generation Y choose to take public transportation, hail a cab, ride their bikes, or walk to their destinations. As a result of this development, many cities are focusing less on parking and more on repurposing right-of-way for Uber and Lyft pickups. Cities are striving to keep up with the rapid speed of change as the private sector continues to dominate travel choices.