Park and ride facilities are, by their very nature, staid, land-intensive, and devoid of any real activity for the majority of the day. They also tend to be focused solely on the car rather than the driver and produce poor quality pedestrian environments. These qualities are in direct conflict with TOD principles and best practice urban design.
In a recent paper I conclude that, in the long term, park and ride facilities should be limited, possibly only providing for persons with disabilities at stations that are, or should be, part of TODs. I also conclude that existing facilities should not be expanded at these locations and any replacement of parking should be in temporary locations that can be redeveloped in the future, or at key park and ride locations elsewhere on the network.
The case study used in the paper, Albion in Brisbane’s inner north, has highlighted a number of issues facing development within TOD precincts in inner city Brisbane. The most prominent of these is the reluctance of the transport provider, who in this case is a key land-holder, to accept a lower provision of park and ride bays around the station. This reluctance is considered to be in direct conflict with the current focus on TOD principles.
The cost of park and ride
The second issue raised is the cost implication of providing dedicated park and ride facilities within private developments. This is an additional cost for developments that are focused around public transport and encouraging the use of same.
As a result, the provision of park and ride facilities in the development is not, as it should be, a temporary solution. As the precinct develops, less park and ride should be provided. In this case study, the initial developer is paying a high cost for being an initiator of the conversion of the area from a local centre to a TOD precinct. A more equitable strategy for the development of park and ride may lie with the temporary provision of park and ride facilities on another site in the vicinity, or in the provision of these facilities at another station. The latter should be the focus of network planning.
Park and ride provision is a conflicting land use with the development of TOD precincts in the long term. Due to the incremental nature of development, the transition of park and ride away from TOD precincts will occur over time. It is important to consider the long term intent for the TOD area in the initial developments to ensure parking requirements are, or will be, consistent with the desired development pattern. This, coupled with a well planned network including dedicated park and ride facilities will ensure TODs can reach their intended potential.