This is evaluation item #17 (of 47) of the Jane Jacobs Atlantic Yards Report Card
Avoidance of Harmful Parking Lots? NO
(Picture: Rendering by the Municipal Art Society- for its Atlantic Lots- showing the teardown of the neighborhood the project plan involves -Original Aerial Photograph by Jonathan Barkey.)
Jane Jacobs viewed parking lots as negatives for cities from two standpoints. In a neighborhood, she viewed them as dominating and disorganizing. More generally she viewed high levels of cars being a net subtraction from the benefits of city life and she viewed accommodations of cars that encouraged their use as promoting a vicious cycle which erodes the balance of pedestrian activity in favor of vehicular activity. Plans for Atlantic Yards involve a hurried rush to create parking lots, in some cases demolishing historic buildings. It can readily be alleged that the reason behind the hurry is to remove the demolished buildings from the public’s consciousness together with the possible ingredients for an alternative future. The parking lots that replace them may be in place for twenty to thirty years. If parking lots are in place long enough people will be inclined to judge the Ratner buildings by a lower standard,- - whether they are improvement over a parking lot. Twenty years of parking lot can be a long time. If one is old enough, it could be a good portion of one’s remaining life.
JJ Cites: [ . . . Visually, they are disorganizing to streets, and so dominating that it is hard- - sometimes impossible– for any countering sense of order to make much impression. P. 234 The problem is how to cut down drastically the absolute number of vehicles using a city. P. 345 Erosion of cities by automobiles entails so familiar a series of events that these hardly need describing, The erosion proceeds as a kind of nibbling, small nibble at first, but eventually hefty bites. . . . More and more land goes into parking to accommodate the ever increasing number of vehicles while they are idle. No one step in this process is, in itself, crucial. But cumulatively the effect is enormous. P.349 the more space that is provided cars in cities, the greater becomes the need for use of cars, and hence for still more space for them. P. 351 all this duplicate parking lies idle for much of the time. P. 356 Attrition of automobiles operates by making conditions less convenient for cars. Attrition as a steady, gradual process . . would steadily decrease the number of persons using private automobiles in a city. P. 363]
(Picture: Rendering by the Municipal Art Society showing the teardown of the neighborhood the project plan involves -Original Aerial Photograph by Jonathan Barkey.)