Is Parking What’s Stopping Atlanta From Becoming a Sustainable City?

opinion_park1-1_16It’s time for an intervention if we want Atlanta to become a walkable and transit-connected city. 

Following up on “Atlanta’s Parking Addiction,” a recent column in the alt-weekly Creative Loafing, Darin at ATL Urbanist points out that much of the city’s new downtown streetcar route is lined with vehicle storage, rather than housing and businesses.

Creative Loafing reported that over the last 30 years, “the availability of low-cost parking” was “the second strongest indicator of the lack of success ” of urban rail in the U.S. Darin says local leaders must recognize that giving streetcar riders fewer places to go hampers ridership and hurts the system’s chances for growth.

The image above shows a section of the streetcar line on Luckie Street in Downtown Atlanta. Everything that isn’t shaded in red is either a parking lot or a parking deck.

This is important. We have a $100 million starter line for modern streetcars in Atlanta and much of the track runs beside properties that contain facilities devoted to car parking instead of destinations for pedestrians. If this seed is going to grow into a larger, successful system of street rail — and there are proposals for that — city leadership needs to get off its collective ass and give the line a chance to work as it should.

I am in general very excited to have a streetcar here and hopeful that it will end up, some day in the future, serving a thriving neighborhood of new residential and commercial structures that replace our downtown parking blight. But there are also days when I walk these streets, where I live, and cynically think: “In Atlanta, we love parking so much that we built a $100 million streetcar line to show off our parking facilities to tourists.”

Origanal article can be found here.

Park(ing) Day At the Art for Arts Sake Festival 2014

Thi-3a8d0b0b05d6fce0s year’s Art For Arts Sake fall festival on Oct. 4 will include eight experimental public art installations tailor-made to fit in parking spots in New Orleans.

The project is part of an international event called PARK(ing) Day that is meant to plant the seeds of alternative urban planning concepts in the public mind.

 

PARK(ing) Day is an annual worldwide event where artists, designers and citizens transform metered parking spots into temporary public parks.

Tparking dayhe mission of PARK(ing) Day is to call attention to the need for more urban open space, to generate critical debate around how public space is created and allocated, and to improve the quality of urban human habitat … at least until the meter runs out!

The Art for Arts Sake 2014 is a one-night festival of gallery openings to kick off the art season.The exhibits can be found along Magazine Street, in the French Quarter and, especially, in the arts district centered on the intersection of Camp and Julia Streets. The Contemporary Arts Center, 900 Camp St., and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, 925 Camp St., present exhibits and entertainment. The festival is happening Saturday October, 4 from 6 to 9 p.m.

More information: Visit the Contemporary Arts Center website, the Magazine Street Merchants Association website and the New Orleans Arts District website. Call the CAC at 504.528.3805.

Read full article here,