There’s never enough parking. Residents say it. Tourists say it. Some City Council members say it. And yet.
Developers in Greater Center City — that’s river to river, Girard to Tasker — routinely include bike parking in new residential construction, and often meet only the minimum car parking requirements. In Fishtown, the developer planning to convert the former St. Laurentius church into 23 residential units will not provide any parking spaces — one of the many reasons the neighborhood objected to the plan, but not something that prevented the project from moving forward.
Philly.com architecture columnist Inga Saffron wrote this week about two Rittenhouse Square parking garages that are being leveled to make way for residential units. Three other parking garages have met the same fate in the last few years, she pointed out, as have a number of surface lots. This is definitely a trend. Center City’s population is up 16 percent since 2000, but parking garage occupancy has fallen drastically in the same time period.
Takeaway? Despite grumblings from the people who use parking spaces, the overall need for them seems to be trending down.