Last August we wrote a post in which we analyzed Greater Downtown parking supply for the years 2014-2016. We explained how parking spaces were distributed by area and estimated changes for 2016. Now we are taking our research one step further, projecting expected changes in parking supply between 2015 and 2018.
Our first take away is that the total number of parking spaces remains almost constant from the end of 2015 to 2018. Although some changes will occur in the parking supply in the near future, when we add all the new spaces and subtract the ones we will lose, the number is practically the same.
There are however, some changes in the distribution of the parking spaces. As we can see on the map below, in 2015, 5% of the parking spaces were located in the Lower Hill area, while 8% were in Station Square. In 2018, these percentages change to 2% and 6% respectively. In contrast, the proportion of spaces in the North Side changes from 21% in 2015 to 23% in 2018. The Golden Triangle area follows the same increasing trend, showing an increment of parking spaces from 43% to 47% of the total. The share of spaces in the Near Strip and Uptown remains unchanged through the years studied.
By 2018 we see a shift in the distribution with more spaces located in the Golden Triangle and the North Side, and less in the Lower Hill and Station Square.
The next map tells us the location of the parking spaces we are gaining or losing through 2016-2018, so we can understand better the shifts in distribution shown above. In the Golden Triangle, Tower 260 and the PNC Tower garages added a large amount of new spaces to the area. More new facilities will come on line soon, including new public and dedicated spaces at the 350 Oliver and Union Trust buildings. New developments such as the Distrikt Hotel, the Holiday Inn on First Avenue, the Drury Hotel, and the former Macy's building project will also include parking options for Downtown visitors and commuters. In the meantime only a few spaces are going offline due to projected developments in the Cultural District.
On the North Side, a new garage will be built on the site of Red Lot 6 (behind Heinz field). In addition, the SEA plans to construct a new garage on a piece of the Gold lot 1 area. The Lower Hill will experience the largest loss of spaces as a result of the new development on the former Civic Arena site, where currently there is a 2200 space parking lot. Likewise, the Station Square East Lot is going off line sometime soon, but some parking spaces will be included in the new project on that site.
Finally, the Homewood Suites hotel has added some spaces to the Near Strip, while the Flats on Fifth have increased parking spaces in Uptown. Nonetheless, the amount added is not much compared to the large number of spaces located in these two areas, which is why the share of total spaces will remain the same in both over the next 2 years.
Understanding the current and future picture of parking supply is crucial to supporting the Downtown growth strategy. According to Make My Trip Count survey results, 38% of daily commuters to Greater Downtown drive alone: that is more than 40,000 people parking their cars in the area everyday*. Calculating parking supply for the next 2 years helps us to foresee future mobility trends and plan accordingly. In this sense, parking supply projections combined with expected Downtown employment, residential and visitor growth estimations are a great source of information for stakeholders planning the future of the area and for everyone to understand the changes that are taking place.
*According to the 2015 State of Downtown by the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, 109,050 people work in Greater Downtown.
Note: For the purposes of this study we have included private and public parking facilities located in the Golden Triangle, the near Strip, the North Side, Uptown, and Station Square.