Downtown parking is critically short and restaurants have had problems due to the shortage.
In Kirkwood, and no doubt many other places in America, just a whisper that there’s not enough parking can lead to demolition of productive buildings to add more. In 2012 Kirkwood spent $1.43M to demolish buildings and add 46 parking spots, $31k each.
Alex Ihnen wrote at the time:
The chance to demolish two storefronts is not, as has been said, a “fortunate” opportunity which the city cannot pass up. It is however, unfortunate that Kirkwood appears eager to destroy itself in an uninformed race for ever-more parking.
The missing information has arrived. On March 1st DPZ Codesign and Jacobs released the Kirkwood’s Downtown Plan and Parking Study presentation. A map showing parking belies the perception of a parking shortage.
Their study results reveal that downtown Kirkwood has more parking than demanded.
The consultants couldn’t be any more clear, devoting an entire page to hammer the point.
How many other places have a lot more parking than used?
Downtown Kirkwood is already a very productive place. They have the opportunity to increase that productivity and leverage its strengths to mitigate its weaknesses outlined in the study by replacing parking with more productive uses.
PS: The Kirkwood plan contains loads of good stuff. Check it out.
Master Plan Report