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GreyTao
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Mjanssen, I think you hit the nail right on the head. We're focusing too much on the parking aspect of these new developments, and not enough on what other contributions are provided. The planning principles our City embraces are a direct result of New Urbanism and PUDs (which is a good thing in most people's opinions). Places should be walkable and have a healthy mix of building type and income classes. Development should be infill so as to reinforce the natural progression of development in the area. All this to say that I don't see parking as the large issue here. It's been statistically proven that where greater vehicular accommodations have been made, congestion grows to fill it. To paraphrase Andres Duany, do we want to live in a city that has vehicular congestion on a massive scale or on a smaller scale? Because either way, there's no escaping that fact that auto demand will meet supply. The larger problem I see is allowing the zoning ordinances in these controversial areas (like CS - Commercial Storefront) to allow residential uses on the ground floor. This absolutely KILLS the intent of creating vibrate communities with walkable streets and mixed uses. Not providing ground floor commercial will in fact increase auto dependance, because now you don't have the option of walking down the street to work, you must get in your car (or take the underfunded public transit system) to commute to work elsewhere. I think the neighbors of these new developments are feeling the growing pains of what was once strictly a residential district starting to become part of a PUD, where a variety of uses will be available (restaurants, offices, retail, etc.). Part of the success of the Pearl was that there was no existing residential neighborhood to speak of and the development happened so rapidly, that there were no "growing pains" to speak of.
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Aug 20, 2012