FORUM: Too many parking lots hurts New Haven

Nov 2nd, 2011 | By | Category: General

A fear of too little parking leads developers to overbuild parking accommodations. Often, the parking lots and garages are privately owned, so sit empty much of the time.

Whatever the reason for the increases in parking, however, automobile dependence is at the core, and the implications should be taken seriously.

The best use of the city’s land is making great places that attract people. The role of transportation policy should be to provide access to these places in the fairest, most efficient ways.

The most vibrant cities we’ve studied would have had a very difficult time meeting their access needs by providing lots of parking. Instead, they have developed diverse transportation systems, with many high-quality options.

New Haven has taken great steps in this direction. Its Complete Street Design Manual, released last year, is one example. There are also great opportunities on the horizon, such as redesigning Route 34 to improve walking and biking connections.

Policymakers must continue to assess the broad, long-term impacts of each decision in order to ensure a productive future for the city.

Chris McCahill is a doctoral candidate in civil and environmental engineering at the University of Connecticut. Write to him at 261 Glenbrook Road, Unit 2037, Storrs 06268-2037. Email:

For more on this story, visit: FORUM: Too many parking lots hurt New Haven- The New Haven Register – Serving New Haven, Connecticut.

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