Updating parking standards?

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Tim Lund
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Updating parking standards?

Post by Tim Lund » 12 Dec 2014 21:03

I noticed a largish area of empty parking lot this afternoon, in about as prime an area as Sydeham has to offer:

Image

Maybe there were some special circumstances, but surely, in retrospect, this space could have been better used. Would it not have been nicer for it to be landscaped in some way, and from an environmental point of view, not concreted over, so that surface water would not run off? I passed by in the evening, to see it it filled up when people came back from work, but hardly:

Image

and I also looked for a satellite image on Google Maps

Image

My guess is that this level of parking provision would have been required by parking standards at the time, but that they are out of date according to the evidence here. The satellite image suggests that there are also guidelines for disabled parking - which developers would be reluctant to try arguing down, since this would not look good. With that tree cover, it would never have been that easy to maintain a particularly attractive garden, so, without being able to fit in more housing units, parking spaces would probably have been most attractive economically for the developers.

Still, it seems a shame. Are parking standards coming down fast enough? How much other space is needlessly lost to concrete round here?

mosy
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Re: Updating parking standards?

Post by mosy » 12 Dec 2014 21:56

I've no idea if those properties are owner occupied or buy to let but perhaps good ol' garages might be better now (since that's the way it's already been built). That way, if they weren't required they could be sublet. Or let as storage units since storage space is sadly lacking in new-builds with ever-decreasing floor space.

Since cars are indispensable for some multi-part journeys and long distance travel, I suspect the biggest deterrent to ownership for some is the outrageous cost of insurance - that, and struggling to pay utility bills, but that could all change. The other deterrent is nowhere to park a car of course.

In a wider sense, if every available square foot is turned into high density housing, then isn't that what was considered/proven to be socially hopeless with many areas being pulled down.

Another alternative would be to have areas designed and fenced off at the back probably which could be used either for cars or let out as allotments. Cars only need two wheel-line paviours, not a full concrete slab.

The niggling doubt I have about "free" space is that once it's built upon it's unlikely ever these days to go back to being "land". We wouldn't have so many doubts about CP Park were that not so.

The only really strong view I have that I won't change is that I think mass concreting or non-permeable coverings is wrong. Subsoil dehydration shrinkage leading to possible subsidence etc etc.

Nigel
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Re: Updating parking standards?

Post by Nigel » 12 Dec 2014 22:11

Tim
What on earth do you mean by "With that tree cover, it would never have been that easy to maintain a particularly attractive garden,"?
Is that why woodlands always suggest a hip hop video or post apocalyptic landscape ?
I'm with you on the grotesque waste of space on parking but surprised that you don't see tree coverage as in keeping with a garden or as we common folk call it wood
A very god evening
Nigel

Tim Lund
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Re: Updating parking standards?

Post by Tim Lund » 13 Dec 2014 07:07

You're right, Nigel. Not sure why I failed to think there.

Mosy, I wasn't necessarily arguing for more housing.

_HB

Re: Updating parking standards?

Post by _HB » 13 Dec 2014 08:32

LAND. VALUE. TAX. NOW.

Tim Lund
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Re: Updating parking standards?

Post by Tim Lund » 13 Dec 2014 13:05

I also took this photo yesterday afternoon, just outside those gates

Image

since it illustrates where I think we should be going; using car clubs (I have for several years been a Zipcar member). The fact that the space is empty here means it is being used. It's whatI commented on in the current 22A- 24 Sydenham Road development as seeming like a pretty good idea.

It's not as if planners don't also think this is the right direction of travel, but I think it's hard for them to move quickly enough. Having laid down a set of rules at one time, changing them is difficult, especially when members of the public who know about planning come to identify with the rules as they are.

mosy
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Re: Updating parking standards?

Post by mosy » 13 Dec 2014 14:28

Tim Lund wrote:...[clip]...Mosy, I wasn't necessarily arguing for more housing.
I didn't think for one moment that you were particularly - more a dislike of the concreting of potentially redundant space (hence suggesting alternative either/or uses).

On car clubs, can you tell more of your experience? When they first arrived, there were a fair few stories of people who used club cars being charged for damage they hadn't caused with no choice but to pay a (sometimes huge) cost that would be debited to the user's credit card irrecoverably due to small-print terms and conditions. That put me off enormously, but perhaps your experience has been fine, or maybe it's more about selecting a reputable club (however one can know such - personal recommendation maybe?).

On tree coverage, I thought you meant problematic due to roots, lack of light and leaf fall, so that only tough, shade-loving shrubs would survive.

Tim Lund
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Re: Updating parking standards?

Post by Tim Lund » 13 Dec 2014 16:54

mosy wrote:On car clubs, can you tell more of your experience? When they first arrived, there were a fair few stories of people who used club cars being charged for damage they hadn't caused with no choice but to pay a (sometimes huge) cost that would be debited to the user's credit card irrecoverably due to small-print terms and conditions. That put me off enormously, but perhaps your experience has been fine,
I first came across car clubs in the late 1990s, when they were being promoted to very green types, and badged as "community"; worthy, but I prefer something with a credible business model. The first I joined was EasyCar, part of Stelios Haji-Ioannou's Easy group - it was pretty bad, not, in my experience, because of excess charges, just awful customer service. I since worked with someone who'd worked with Stelios H-I, who said this was typical of his businesses - EasyJet being the exception because someone else actually ran it.

Later I joined StreetCar, which was later taken over by ZipCar. It maybe because technology has moved on - success in such a business has to be very much about getting this right - but I've not had any problems. Obviously it's never going to be as convenient as having your own car, always right outside your own house, but overall costs are so much lower it is easily worth it. I hope this doesn't make me sound too petrol head, but I quite like the experience of driving up to date cars; the electronics and smoothness of ride they offer compared to the Peugeot 205 I used to own are amazing.
mosy wrote:or maybe it's more about selecting a reputable club (however one can know such - personal recommendation maybe?).
I don't think there is much choice - AFAIK round here it's just ZipCar. With car clubs there is a strong network effect, so as long as they are in effect competing with ordinary car ownership, there's unlikely to be more than one car club in an area.
mosy wrote: On tree coverage, I thought you meant problematic due to roots, lack of light and leaf fall, so that only tough, shade-loving shrubs would survive.
That is what I meant, but as Nigel points out, woodland can be nice too.

_HB

Re: Updating parking standards?

Post by _HB » 13 Dec 2014 19:50

Also a Zipcar member. Never had any issues with charging. A far better option than owning a car in London. The only other one I know of is CityCar, but their network isn't as well developed.

There are also a few Air BnB type arrangements springing up which are interesting.

Tim Lund
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Re: Updating parking standards?

Post by Tim Lund » 14 Dec 2014 11:18

_HB wrote:LAND. VALUE. TAX. NOW.
It seems this may be adopted as a policy by the Green Party - see towards the end of this post I just made.

How to push up house prices in London

Of course, this may not mean it's going to happen NOW, or even any time soon. LVT wouldn't be my highest priority in reforming our tax system either.

simono
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Re: Updating parking standards?

Post by simono » 15 Dec 2014 22:51

For anyone that was involved at the time this is the parking area behind the flats build as part of the wider redevelopment of the Greyhound site. As I recall for the 44 or so flats only 3 disabled spaces were provided with the balance being for the commercial units that will hopefully open at some stage.
The theory was that no one living in the flats would need a car due to the excellent communications. Whilst this is true, sadly that does not mean people do not have cars and for that matter commercial vehicles. These then park in the surrounding roads, notably Peak Hill Gardens and Spring Hill increasing the already enormous pressue on parking in the area.
There is the one car share bay which is used exclusively by Zipcar, a commercial company rather than what a car club is supposed to be about.
Parking in the area is then of course made harder by the commuters who use the station who as it is cold seem more and more inclined to drive to the station. There is clearly no right to park outside your own house but it is nice to be able to park within a 10 minutes walk, probably as far as some of the people drive!
I know the Council do not seem to like CPZ's but there is a real need to think again to stop commuters driving to stations. That might reduce car use a bit more than a token car club space.

Sydenham
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Re: Updating parking standards?

Post by Sydenham » 16 Dec 2014 12:52

The point you raise about new builds having a limited number of parking spaces because there is an assumption that those living there will not own vehicles because of the great public transport connections raises an interesting point / challenge. The decision to limit spaces seems logical but as you say affects all others living near by if the assumption turns out to be false.

I would have hoped (I'm dreaming....) that if this assumption was built into the original planning consent then some corresponding enforcement action might also have been included - i.e. a condition or covenant of tenancy / purchase etc. that no vehicles were allowed to be registered, or owned by those living in these properties. I'm not aware of any such conditions - could they be enforced or imposed? Covenants maybe.

Only then would you be able to protect existing residents in some small way from the consequences of changes brought in by new builds, especially when assumptions didn't come true.

But how far do you go and over what period - this is not a simple one to answer and get fair for all. And I doubt there will ever be joined up thinking on this. Nothing is built in London in isolation... We all live together and have to bear the consequences of other's actions.

Tim Lund
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Re: Updating parking standards?

Post by Tim Lund » 16 Dec 2014 17:43

simono wrote:For anyone that was involved at the time this is the parking area behind the flats build as part of the wider redevelopment of the Greyhound site. As I recall for the 44 or so flats only 3 disabled spaces were provided with the balance being for the commercial units that will hopefully open at some stage.
The theory was that no one living in the flats would need a car due to the excellent communications. Whilst this is true
Good to know then that theory is borne out by practice in this case. Score one for the planners!
simono wrote:sadly that does not mean people do not have cars and for that matter commercial vehicles. These then park in the surrounding roads, notably Peak Hill Gardens and Spring Hill increasing the already enormous pressue on parking in the area.
There is the one car share bay which is used exclusively by Zipcar, a commercial company rather than what a car club is supposed to be about.
I have absolutely no ideological problem with a car hire service being provided by a commercial company. Why should this be a problem for anyone?
simono wrote: Parking in the area is then of course made harder by the commuters who use the station who as it is cold seem more and more inclined to drive to the station. There is clearly no right to park outside your own house but it is nice to be able to park within a 10 minutes walk, probably as far as some of the people drive!
I know the Council do not seem to like CPZ's but there is a real need to think again to stop commuters driving to stations.
I'm with you in backing CPZs. I always wonder whether opposition to them is driven more by ideological opposition to market forces, unthinking conservatism, self interest, or a sort of Thatcherite cultural identification with the great car economy.
simono wrote: That might reduce car use a bit more than a token car club space.
Why do you say token? Above some level of usage, any car club space has to mean fewer lumps of metal rusting away in front of our houses. Do you think that this level has not been reached yet in this location, or do you think that there isn't yet enough demand for more car club spaces to make a significant impact on parking? I suspect the latter is true, so that in the short to medium term, CPZs are more practical, but I think it unfair to dismiss car clubs as tokenism.
Last edited by Tim Lund on 16 Dec 2014 18:04, edited 1 time in total.

Tim Lund
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Re: Updating parking standards?

Post by Tim Lund » 16 Dec 2014 17:52

Sydenham wrote:The point you raise about new builds having a limited number of parking spaces because there is an assumption that those living there will not own vehicles because of the great public transport connections raises an interesting point / challenge. The decision to limit spaces seems logical but as you say affects all others living near by if the assumption turns out to be false.
So much for my visual evidence that the assumption in this case was indeed true! I even went to the trouble to check at different times of day, and different times of year, by checking on Google satellite. Why did I bother?

The problem clearly does not come from the people living in these flats, but from the tendency of those living further away to drive to the station. CPZs now!
Sydenham wrote:I would have hoped (I'm dreaming....) that if this assumption was built into the original planning consent then some corresponding enforcement action might also have been included - i.e. a condition or covenant of tenancy / purchase etc. that no vehicles were allowed to be registered, or owned by those living in these properties. I'm not aware of any such conditions - could they be enforced or imposed? Covenants maybe..
But again, why? Those living now in these flats are not the problem - it is the more affluent, living futher way. Why penalise them?
Sydenham wrote: Only then would you be able to protect existing residents in some small way from the consequences of changes brought in by new builds, especially when assumptions didn't come true...
But they did
Sydenham wrote:

But how far do you go and over what period - this is not a simple one to answer and get fair for all. And I doubt there will ever be joined up thinking on this. Nothing is built in London in isolation... We all live together and have to bear the consequences of other's actions.
In particular, the consequences of the actions of private motorists.

gillyjp
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Re: Updating parking standards?

Post by gillyjp » 17 Dec 2014 00:13

At the risk of repeating myself on the burgeoning issue of commuter parking in the surrounding area of Sydenham station, all that would be needed is a 'resident's parking only' scheme between the hours of 12.00 - 2.00pm. Bromley council have successfully operated this in many areas in the borough. I have been informed that Lewisham Borough has no intention of implementing any more CPZ's in the area. Shame. It would be nice to be able to park within a 10 minute walk of my home and I would happily pay for a resident's parking permit to enable me do so. What with commuters using Sydenham station and patrons of the LA Fitness gym making use of the roads, sadly the situation will only get worse.

14BradfordRoad
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Re: Updating parking standards?

Post by 14BradfordRoad » 17 Dec 2014 08:53

gillyjp wrote:At the risk of repeating myself on the burgeoning issue of commuter parking in the surrounding area of Sydenham station, all that would be needed is a 'resident's parking only' scheme between the hours of 12.00 - 2.00pm.

Agree with you and have experience of this working very well. It still allows parking for shorter term, less frequent visitors during the day who aren't the cause of the main problem (providing they avoid 12.00 - 2.00pm). This allows for residents to have large deliveries, family visitors, home help, etc..
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gillyjp wrote: I have been informed that Lewisham Borough has no intention of implementing any more CPZ's in the area. Shame. It would be nice to be able to park within a 10 minute walk of my home and I would happily pay for a resident's parking permit to enable me do so. What with commuters using Sydenham station and patrons of the LA Fitness gym making use of the roads, sadly the situation will only get worse.
Can be a problem if / when a Borough sells permits to people working locally or possibly visiting the nearby Gym you mention. This situation happened to a friend of mine, on The Isle of Dogs. They campaigned for 'What they thought would be' resident permit parking, only to realise that Parking Permits were also being sold to the local workforce. A large company that I worked for bought Southwark Council parking permits for their vans as this was a huge saving on Parking Penalty costs. Surely resident parking permits should be for residents! :wink:

gillyjp
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Re: Updating parking standards?

Post by gillyjp » 18 Dec 2014 08:07

Totally agree. Local authorities just trying to make as much money as possible out of the parking permits selling them to any Tom, Dick & Harry and rather defeating the object of the exercise. As this deliberately blinkered council incorrectly assumed at the planning stage of Cobbs court that because Sydenham has such excellent transport links that no residents would own or need a car! Hence at the back of the development there is a large piece of land dedicated to disabled parking that no one ever uses and thus putting undue pressure on the surrounding roads.

Anyway the upshot from all this for me personally is that I use public transport more to avoid the hassle of moving my car from the road and losing the parking space. That's fine as I have a freedom pass and I also get some healthy exercise walking to my destinations where possible. However it is a irritating when I need the car to transport heavier shopping etc especially now in the run up to Christmas. On such occasions we residents are resorting to putting our wheelie bins in the road to 'save' a parking place so that we can unload heavy shopping.

Tim Lund
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Re: Updating parking standards?

Post by Tim Lund » 18 Dec 2014 10:21

gillyjp wrote:Totally agree. Local authorities just trying to make as much money as possible out of the parking permits selling them to any Tom, Dick & Harry and rather defeating the object of the exercise


If local authorities objectives include raising money for vital services, and discouraging car use for the benefits it brings in freeing up public space, reducing pollution, encouraging moderate exercise, wouldn't pricing parking permits to maximise revenue be the minimum acceptable level?
gillyjp wrote:As this deliberately blinkered council incorrectly assumed at the planning stage of Cobbs court that because Sydenham has such excellent transport links that no residents would own or need a car! Hence at the back of the development there is a large piece of land dedicated to disabled parking that no one ever uses and thus putting undue pressure on the surrounding roads.


And it doesn't seem as if there are any able bodied residents of the development using this parking space either. Are you saying they are boycotting their reserved parking area? Why should they do that? The evidence seems here that Lewisham was far from blinkered, but demanded the parking provision they did, maybe reluctantly, bound by out of date parking standards, and pressurised by local residents who unthinkingly always ask for more parking than needed.
gillyjp wrote:
Anyway the upshot from all this for me personally is that I use public transport more to avoid the hassle of moving my car from the road and losing the parking space. That's fine as I have a freedom pass and I also get some healthy exercise walking to my destinations where possible. However it is a irritating when I need the car to transport heavier shopping etc especially now in the run up to Christmas. On such occasions we residents are resorting to putting our wheelie bins in the road to 'save' a parking place so that we can unload heavy shopping.
Have you and fellow residents considered joining Zipcar? It really will save you all money, and will free up space from those who need to use cars every day as part of their business, e.g. coldand
Last edited by Tim Lund on 18 Dec 2014 10:33, edited 2 times in total.

_HB

Re: Updating parking standards?

Post by _HB » 18 Dec 2014 10:31

I don't understand where this demand is coming from. Lewisham has one of the lowest rates of car ownership in the country. If the Council properly introduced and enforced residents only parking in the residential streets around the Borough there would be no problem.

14BradfordRoad
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Re: Updating parking standards?

Post by 14BradfordRoad » 18 Dec 2014 14:45

_HB wrote:I don't understand where this demand is coming from. Lewisham has one of the lowest rates of car ownership in the country. If the Council properly introduced and enforced residents only parking in the residential streets around the Borough there would be no problem.
In Gilly's case it sounds like the fitness Gym down the road is part of the problem. Driving down to the Gym by Car in itself is a bit self defeating. Then again I know someone who visits a fitness centre because she enjoys the snack area (She also goes by car)! :lol: What's suddenly become tabboo with walking? Resident only parking does seem to be the solution here. Maybe some consideration for essential services too (surely must be do-able)..

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