Downtown Austin Parking + the most interesting presentation on parking in the history of the world.

Downtown Austin Parking = FAIL

Downtown Austin Parking = FAIL

The most interesting presentation about parking in the history of the world (pdf).

(Okay, this is about parking so it’s dry as your grandmothers turkey.  But, in the world of parking, this is a home run presentation.  I’ve heard from DANA board members that Patrick Siegman, the guy who wrote the presentation, is an amazing speaker on the topic of parking and new urbanism.)

I’ll help out… below are three major reforms that could be applied to Downtown Austin parking.

1. Charge fair-market prices for curb parking
2. Spend the resulting revenue to pay for neighborhood public improvements
3. Remove the requirements for off-street parking

Over the past 48 hours there’s been lots of discussion over at Austin Contrarian about parking issues. This is encouraging because sometimes I wonder if our citizens recognize the immense impact that parking guidelines have on the look and feel of our city.  Downtown Austin apartments, condos, and retail are putting more stress on the availability of [convenient] parking.  Parking has a causal relationship with keeping cars on the road, walkability, and overall neighborhood-ness.

In October I was fortunate to be included in a delegation of Austinites sent to Vancouver in order to learn about how they’ve managed rapid growth and become one of the most admired cities in the world. One of their council members, Gordon Price, delivered one of the most impassioned orations about smart urban planning.  He made one particular comment that struck me…

“Show me your parking ordinance, and I’ll show you what your city looks like!”

Personally, this was a revelation.  Will Austin City Council adopt new parking rules that will encourage use of mass transit and walkability?  I hope so.  The alternative is more cars, more roads, and more scorched earth strip malls.

Downtown Austin By The Numbers: How many dwellings?

Downtown Austin By The Numbers: How many dwellings?

What’s the magic number?

This is the first in a series of three articles aimed at uncovering the number of residences in Downtown Austin.  So, how many dwellings are there?  This seems like a simple question, doesn’t it?  I’ve never been able to get a satisfying answer – one that doesn’t try to determine the number of residents using a multiplier, is not rounded up or down, and that clearly indicates what is currently being lived in or is ready for occupancy (not under construction).

You may ask, “why don’t you just search Google?”  Well, I did.  I searched Google for “how many dwellings are in Downtown Austin”.   I used other iterations and synonyms of those search terms and could not find a satisfying answer.  Much of the data available is old and/or disparate.  The last U.S. Census was in 2000.  The next is in 2010.  Because I am your loyal Downtown Austin Realtor (plug!), I am uniquely suited to discover and share with you my count, building by building, of the number of Downtown Austin condos and apartments.

The official Downtown Austin Blog count of Downtown Austin dwellings after the jump.

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