Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Parking & Parks - Pershing Square Renovation

Big news in Downtown LA (weeks old via CurbedLA): Pershing Square is finally getting a much-needed renovation. Pershing Square has undergone numerous changes that resulted in drastically different parks; of note, in the 60's the park was completely razed and excavated to provide underground parking. The current iteration, a concrete-heavy vision of the 90's, fails to attract many pedestrians due to the pedestrian-unfriendly parking ramps that inhibit access to the park.

With a potential redesign of Pershing Square now being considered, I am curious about sub-park parking structures in today's day-and-age. Although parking in Downtown continues to be a lucrative business for operators of structures and lots, as well as for the city of Los Angeles, many urbanists now advocate for a reduction in parking: surface lots are being developed into multi-use developments, road diets (including the rehearsal road diet on Broadway) are reducing the supply of street parking, and the development of parking structures is much less savory to the community than most other developments. However, parking structures underneath Grand Parks still operate and many new developments are shy to omit parking podiums from the bases of residential towers. 

My question is: are parking structures located underneath LA's parks still relevant? Perhaps the design of public spaces should return emphasis to pedestrians, instead of inhibiting access to parks with bulky parking ramps to subterranean parking structures.



- Tay Vaughn

1 comment:

Abe Markowitz said...

I love your last line
"Perhaps the design of public spaces should return emphasis to pedestrians, instead of inhibiting access to parks with bulky parking ramps to subterranean parking structures."

It sure is a lot harder to walk into Pershing square, crossing the busy intersection then fighting cars leaving the structure and then walk up some steps. Its much easier to drive there and escalator up

-Abe M, '12