Parking really, really matters. It has a special role in the way places work, and getting it wrong can cause all sorts of problems down the road (pun totally intended). Getting the parking right has the power to animate streets, calm traffic, encourage neighbourliness, deter crime, and improve efficiency. It can’t bring about world peace – yet – but it can even help to give people bigger and better gardens (which we have long suspected is the first step on the road to world peace).
So how do you do it? How do you get to this utopia of the parked vehicle? It probably won’t surprise you to learn that, with the exception of a few special circumstances, there is a simple recipie that can get you most of the way there. For rules of thumb, you could do worse than:
Parking at the back means big areas at the back for…well…parking. This means less space at the back for gardens, less use of front doors, and access into the interior of the block. In 30 years time you just know that the image below will be full of old mattresses, annoying oiks being annoying, litter, weeds, and broken glass. Not nice and totally unnecessary.
Cars on the street act as a natural traffic calming measure, forcing drivers to slow down as the dangers of opening doors and kids running out plays on their minds. It also means you can use your front door, which seems like a good idea as it is normally pretty well placed for, you know, getting in to your house. There is a chance that you will bump in to your neighbours when going to and from your car too, which is (usually) a good thing. Finally, having several thousand pounds worth of shiny ‘ride’ outside in the street makes you more likely to look out of the window if you hear a strange noise as there is the slim chance that someone is taking liberties with your stereo. Who knows? This vigilance might interrupt a crime. You hero.
Keep it informal.
The most efficient forms of parking are unallocated and even unmarked. People are pretty good at getting lots of cars in to small spaces, so where you can you should let people get on with it and spend your time worrying about something else. Of course, this only works if you allow for parking in the first place.
Accept it. Don’t fight it.
Doing so will only upset you when you visit your development to find people parked wheels up on the pavement whilst your lovely parking court sits empty.
If you want to know more then you should read this. Or you could get in touch and we can help.