Perception is that Macungie has “parking problems”. As someone who parks in the borough daily I disagree. Rarely if ever do I have issues parking close to any destination I want to get to downtown.
To demonstrate my point I took a little walk. 11am on a Tuesday. Prime business time right? (NOTE: I’m am going to followup with the same exercise at night. I suspect we’ll be closer to peak parking since we have a lot of Main St. renters, but we’ll still have excess.)
From Park entrance to railroad tracks (what I’d call the business district):
- 55 open spaces were completely unused. (this did include a loading zone and 30 minute parking spaces)
- Only 33 spaces were actually utilized by vehicles.
To illustrate that here is what a 50 car parking lot looks like in the suburban model. Basically at 11am on a Tuesday you have this amount of parking in the downtown borough business district completely unused. If a box retailer had this amount of parking available during prime business hours would anyone call it an issue?
Below are photos of the “Parking problem” Dec. 3rd (yes winter, but a nice winter day) at 11am. Like I said, going to try the same exercise tonight. See what we’re dealing with nighttime.
Yes, I do think Macungie has some issues with it’s Main St. business district. Tractor Trailer traffic is the biggest. The condition of the streetscape is next. But for some reason I hear parking most often. You don’t have a parking problem, until you have a parking problem. Parking issues are a symptom of a thriving business district. Excessive parking regulations are a barrier to a thriving business district. If a thriving business district is the goal, remove the barriers. Then deal with the by-products after you have success. Otherwise we’re just a place with a whole lotta parking, but not many places to go.