Parking at Low Battery

Parking of automobiles is perhaps the biggest concern people voiced to our project team through the comments and in person at the mobile design workshops (recall that this was not the case in the survey, as described here). People are concerned about being able to park and use the Low Battery and White Point Gardens. 

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Key Points

  • A vast majority of people parking along the waterfront are not there to use the Low Battery. The area is being used as long, linear free surface parking lot by students, employees, visitor and others, some storing their vehicles for an entire work/school shift or multiple days at a time.
  • None of the four proposals take away ALL of the parking. The impacts to existing on-street parking range in extent from least intervention (Option #1, which removes 1-2 spaces near intersections) and most intervention (Option #4, completely removing through traffic and parking from Murray Boulevard around White Point Gardens only).
  • The northern side of Murray Boulevard and most of the area around White Point Gardens is regulated by 1-hour or 2-hour nonresidential parking (where you need a special pass to park longer than those times as indicated). This is sufficient for the uses favored in the survey, allowing people who wish to use Low Battery to do so.

Things are not always as they seem.

Residents and design team observations have shown that free parking along the waterfront is not being used by Low Battery [public space visitors, rather, it is mostly used by employees and students on the peninsula. These folks fill up the waterfront parking spaces, making it difficult for Low Battery users to find a space, and they ride bikes up into the peninsula to work. One person revealed they use waterfront parking to be picked up by a bus to attend school. Vehicles are being stored for multiple days at a time; construction workers meet here to carpool. Is this the highest and best use of an urban waterfont?

This is a simplified series of images to help demonstrate this activity:

 

1. Parking is full as early as 7 am. The non-waterfront side is regulated as 2-hour parking only.

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2. As evening arrives, daytime parking is relieved by evening parking. Awkward gaps are created, but some spots come available.

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3. If free waterfront parking is eliminated, users of the Low Battery would still be able to use the opposite side (which is already regulated for 2-hour parking).

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