Monday, September 19, 2011

Parking, parking everywhere in the City of Langley

Last Monday night, Langley City council received a report about a new $600,000 wayfinding strategy for Downtown Langley. Council endorsed the plan and now will be put it into the budget cycle for 2012 and future years. One of the goals of the wayfinding strategy is to help people find parking lots and speaking about parking lots...

I found a note that St. Joseph’s Parish purchased 20629 Douglas Crescent in the heart of downtown Langley and demolished the buildings on the property to make way for a new church parking lot. Since the current church parking lot is only busy about once a week, I have to wonder if an expanded church parking lot is really the best use of land in Downtown Langley.

St. Joseph’s Parish - Future Parking Lots

Proposed Strip Mall at Glover Road and the Langley Bypass
While I realize that parking is required and important in a place like Langley, if the City truly wants to build a pedestrian friendly downtown, surface parking lots need to be removed not added. Looking at the preceding maps and you’ll see that this site plan in Downtown Langley is no different than the strip mall that is being proposed at Glover Road and the Langley Bypass.

Just like all residential buildings are now required to have structured parking, the City really needs to think hard about structure parking in commercial areas. Maybe the City should build a parkade. Now a parkade is not cheap ~$50m, but it would open up hundreds of millions of dollars of economic development in Downtown Langley and allow better use of the land. People shop in Downtown Langley because they either live near the area or are looking for a unique, walkable shopping experience. According to the City own Downtown Master Plan:

Underutilized Land Areas – The accompanying Building Coverage diagram below illustrates the underutilized nature of some of the lands outside the Downtown area. Much of this land is consumed by parking or by large industrial users. In some cases, these land parcels are grossly underutilized considering their proximity to Downtown and could serve more appropriate and highly desirable uses as residential and/or commercial. In some cases, more structured parking could retain convenient access and the number of parking spaces while introducing more compact mixed uses in the downtown core area.

Building are in black. All other space is parking lots.


Anonymous said...

St. Joe's has a well-attended mass every morning, and special events from time to time. It's not really fair to say they only use their parking once a week.

Kyle Zheng said...

I think that if Langley wants to be pedestrian friendly, it should follow whistler's path; it should build a few pedestrian only streets in the middle of the middle of downtown. And, do it now, or else once langley keeps growing, it will become harder to change.