These pictures were taken last week- just to clarify. I’m not really concerned with how full or not the lots are so much as the sheer number of them. Look how much of our downtown is taken up with parking lots! It’s ridiculous.
The large parking lot in photo 2 will soon be replaced by a large parking deck for the Federal Reserve, MeadWestvaco’s new corporate HQ, and future phases of Foundry Park.
The parking deck in photo 3 is actually interesting because it sits partially overtop of the downtown expressway. It shares its block with a small surface lot, which is being marketed for potential use as a mixed-use highrise opportunity. Any new construction would also have air rights over a section of the existing deck.
In the first photo, the lots in the foreground and middle of the picture are used by the police precinct. Virtually all of the lots in photo 1 are owned by Riverstone Properties LLC.
Yes, but often “all those parking lots” are reserved for some entity in particular, or are “monthly parking only” so it isn’t usable for just a trip downtown. I think what people really mean when they say, “there isn’t any parking downtown” is , “there isn’t any FREE parking downtown”. The majority of the lots have a fee, sometimes very high. Many people don’t like to have to pay for parking, especially if they can go to their county TGI Fridays and park for free.
Yes, these parking lots are great if you want to walk to the river, attend a festival at Belle Isle, go to the Crowne Plaza, or attend the ballet. Are they near Shockoe Bottom or Shockoe Slip? Near a restaurant? Near shopping? Near an historic district? Near clubs? Near anything that resembles a hub of a downtown district that’s alive and kicking on a weekend, and filled with crowds and people wandering and peeking at shop windows? No.
If, as a single person, I parked on these lots at night and walked to Shockoe Slip, I would set myself up as a target for anyone wanting to rob me. No thanks.
I counted 23 parking lots on the default page- all in the downtown area. Then I moved the map to Shockoe Slip and found 6.
The problem, as I see it, is there’s too much parking and not enough residences, shops, clubs, etc. Drive down Cary St. between Belvidere and Shockoe- it’s embarrassing how much downtown space is taken up with surface and structured parking.
The problem is that we’re all addicted to our cars and devote more and more of our urban land to them, making it impossible to develop in a way that’s dense enough to have a lively and compact downtown.