Tacoma Urbanist

Oct. 29, 2007 at 10:08pm

Tacoma's Parking Requirements Causing Blight in Tacoma's Streetscape

Forcing a suburban building code in downtown Tacoma has been disasterous for the streetscape

Here is an example of how Tacoma's off-street parking requirements have been a disaster for downtown Tacoma. Here is an empty parking lot by Drakes left when a historical building was knocked down.

Everyone can agree that a three story building with retail on the first floor should be placed in the space. Yet, Tacoma's off street parking requirement forbids this. Thus, visitors to downtown are greeted with a downtown pocked with blightful surface level parking lots like this. Not very attractive.

Onsite parking requirements, which have crept into many cities' laws over the past 50 to 70 years, have sucked the potential out of commercial properties on main streets and in downtowns everywhere. Perhaps more than anything else, rules requiring onsite parking -- to be distinguished from "on street" or "offsite" parking -- have created the blighted conditions that characterize many older North American commercial districts and boulevards.


See also entry on Exit 133.

comments [2]  |  posted under Tacoma washington blog parking


by NineInchNachos on 10/29/2007 @ 11:05pm
Tacoma's parking regulations are WAC. The Tacoma City Council needs to totally update these to join like the 21st century.

by Erik on 11/16/2007 @ 9:46pm
It will a close issue on the parking issue discussions/

Will downtown Tacoma be pocked with empty lots and be low density and economically exclusive or will it allow empty lots to be filled with mixed income buildings where people are able to choose how much parking, if any, they wish to buy.