BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — According to a new survey, nearly 30% percent of downtown Birmingham is comprised of parking spaces.
According to Parking Reform Network, a group that studies parking and its effect on the climate, 26% percent of the downtown area was specifically listed for parking. Birmingham was one of over 80 cities across the country that the group analyzed to see what their parking situations were.
“Off-street parking is not required in the B-4 Central Business District,” the group wrote in its summary of Birmingham’s parking. “Parking requirements were reduced in the B-3 Community Business District. Required spaces are reduced by 10% when within 1000 ft of transit.”
Of all the cities ranked in the survey, Birmingham came out 55th. San Bernardino, California had the most dedicated parking with 49% of its downtown area dedicated to parking while New York City had the least available parking with only 1% of its downtown specified it.
The report was compiled by “dividing the entire area of all land where the main land use is parking by the estimated developable land area inside the Central City boundary,” Parking Reform Network stated.
According to the group, an average of 22% of a city’s center is typically dedicated to parking.
“This parking is often clustered around main streets, office districts, and historical cores, creating a dead zone around the city’s most valuable and walkable areas that limits residential and commercial growth,” the group stated. “Cities with high parking have ample land that could be devoted to building walkable neighborhoods, vibrant parks, or office districts. Suppose all parking in all 87 city centers analyzed was converted to residential, at a density of 40,000 people per square mile. In that case, we could provide enough housing for over half a million people.”