Why bad parking is costing developers

Drivers who park their cars diagonally across two spaces have always occupied a special place of contempt in my heart. In the Venn diagram of life, where set ‘a’ is occupied by Porsche drivers and set ‘b’ is occupied by imbeciles, you will generally find these people in subset ‘c’.

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By  Sean Cronin Published  February 25, 2006

|~||~||~|Drivers who park their cars diagonally across two spaces have always occupied a special place of contempt in my heart. In the Venn diagram of life, where set ‘a’ is occupied by Porsche drivers and set ‘b’ is occupied by imbeciles, you will generally find these people in subset ‘c’. It isn’t so much because they just do that. It’s because you instinctively know that they are the same people who like to accelerate to within 3cm of your rear bumper, while flashing their headlights with strobe-like speed. They are there again when you’re waiting at the traffic lights — tooting their horns behind you before the lights have turned to green. The only time they are ever in front of you, is when you are trying to park at the shopping centre. They’re the ones who stop exactly in the middle of the road between the rows of parked vehicles, so that the fourteen other cars behind cannot pass on either side, while they languidly wait for a space to be vacated. What has any of this got to do with the construction industry? Well I believe it is the occupants of subset ‘c’ who are to blame for most of our parking woes. They are one of the reasons why parking has become so vexingly difficult lately — and why the local authority is now considering increasing parking densities as part of its review of existing building codes. The new parking requirement is one of several options currently under study. Other measures include the stricter policing of buildings under construction to ensure there is adequate wheelchair access, and the greater use of energy-efficient materials — all seemingly good ideas. But it is the proposed increase in parking densities that will be of most interest to developers, because of the obvious cost and design implications involved. It will potentially add to the cost of construction by demanding larger podiums, deeper basements, or more development land, to accommodate the increased number of spaces required. But it seems to be a sensible approach, given the projected increase in the number of cars on the road — expected to have grown by around 45,000 over the last year alone, according to DM estimates. In the absence of legislation permitting the culling of drivers who park across two spaces, it may be our only hope. Sean Cronin Editor||**||

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