Subsidies mask the true cost of parking. As Donald Shoup and others have shown, the oversupply of parking encourages solo driving, increases energy consumption, and creates an auto-oriented urban form. A paradigm shift is needed.
The emergence of parklets provides a forum to rethink the costs of parking. Parklets are a strategy to "convert curb-side parking spaces into new spaces for seating, greenery, and places to gather and stop." The reclaiming of valuable parking spaces to public space has garnered considerable attention. Current literature on parklets focuses on design and impacts on public space. More research on parklets is needed in terms of their other effects, particularly on transportation.
Do parklets impact pedestrian and vehicular travel? What is the value of parklets compared to parking spaces? I examine the impacts of parklets on transportation through a case study of the Mission neighborhood in San Francisco. Additionally, I value parking and parklets using an Analytic Hierarchy Process approach, highlighting the benefits of parklets beyond the public space component.
I presented my work at the 21st Congress for New Urbanism (CNU) in Salt Lake City (May 29 - June 1, 2013), and at the 2013 College of Environmental Design Circus. My research poster for the Design Circus won a student award. This project was a product of UC Berkeley's CP 213 course, Transportation & Land Use Planning, in Autumn 2012.