A healthy downtown area where stores are walkable and easy to access generates robust sales and creates jobs, contributing to a vibrant economy for your city. Studies show that people who visit downtown businesses by foot return more often and spend more time and money. Ed McMahon of the Urban Land Institute went so far as to say, “If you don’t have a healthy downtown you simply don’t have a healthy city or town.”
What does a walkable downtown have to do with parking?
More than you think.
While people who live within walking distance to downtown shopping can always walk to local shops, businesses generally need more than just that small pool of people to maintain positive growth. And for countless people who live further, parking can be a major hindrance to patronizing downtown areas.
In cities where parking is scarce, hard to access, or significantly time limited, people will often avoid downtown establishments in favor of eating and shopping where it’s easier to park.
Equipping downtown lots with parking guidance lets people park once and visit, browse, and shop at local businesses by foot for as long as they want. When parking lots are clearly marked with how many and where spots are available, people can get out of their cars and into spots quickly instead of circling needlessly. Cities can better manage available parking spots while alleviating stress for potential patrons who don’t want to waste valuable time in search of a spot.
Walkable cities shouldn’t be accessible only to people within a limited radius of blocks. They can benefit everyone by being walkable to countless people within driving distance too.
Offering easily accessible, clearly marked, and simple to find parking does more than boost usage in your lots. It gives people the opportunity to walk your city and contribute to your local economy.
Parking guidance can make it happen.