Macungie Borough probably doesn’t have a parking problem….

Continuing the parking theme this week. Moving over to Macungie Borough, the other municipality I spend a lot of time in. It’s where my business is located.

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.

How parking requirements hurt small businesses

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?

Parking for 50 cars is outlined in this photo. (CVS parking lot) This is basically equal to the amount of open parking in the borough of Macungie on any given weekday over lunch.

 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.

Macungie Borough 11am on a Tuesday. Parking issues?

Parking problems?

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.