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Old Posted Nov 21, 2017, 5:52 PM
mr1138 mr1138 is offline
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This isn't directly related to Ken's comment, but it got me thinking... I've been curious recently if there are any city or business district sponsored parking districts in the metro area outside of Boulder that are tied directly to development? I'm pretty sure Denver doesn't have anything like Boulder's CAGID, but it's actually a bit surprising because the model can work so well. I was helping an architect friend work out a site plan for a small-lot infill design the other day, and it really is eye-opening the way that parking requirements trickle down into all aspects of things.

For those who don't know how it works in Downtown Boulder, the public garages that visitors find near Pearl Street are owned and operated by the General Improvement District, and spaces inside are deeded to nearby offices and residences. This "un-bundling" of parking from development allows for re-use of historic buildings and small-scale infill without requiring new structured parking. Some colleagues of mine also believe it prevented the wholesale demolition of the historic business district to create surface parking near the mall (likely on Walnut and Spruce), which was often seen around new pedestrian malls elsewhere in America in the 70s and 80s. Leftover spaces in the garages are sold by the hour, or are free on evening/weekends/holidays to promote shopping, and parking revenue (including on-street) in the district helps subsidize an EcoPass for employees and residents in the district (which drives down demand for parking to well below the regional average - a nice positive feedback loop).

This seems like a natural strategy to try elsewhere in urban neighborhoods like Cherry Creek, TOD districts such as at Stapleton, or the Old Towns (e.g. Littleton, Arvada, even Downtown Golden). Of course this is more about parking minimums and smaller developments - if such a parking district were in place in Cherry Creek, I'm not sure if it would change the thinking of large retail developments like Clayton Lane or Cherry Creek Mall itself. But it plays into Ken's observation that parking financing can be redirected into plans and programs that reduce parking demand in the first place.
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