Tulsa is in the middle of an extensive study on how to make our city more walkable and less dependent on cars.
Developers in larger cities are swapping parking for things like Uber concessions; and the discussion is starting to happen here, too.
Hundreds of new apartments in downtown Tulsa area available for rent, shops are opening their doors, and a $150 million mixed-use project is in the works.
Urban designer John Griffin said, “Parking really drives everything. You can only build what you can park."
The old way of doing this includes building a garage, and another garage, for tenants and shoppers – but times are changing.
“Bike sharing, car sharing, increase in public transportation are really at the forefront of what lies ahead as far as urban design,” Griffin said.
In Los Angeles, some apartments are scrapping parking spots for tenants all together, and swapping with Uber concessions.
Shopping centers are adding designated Uber drop off and pickup points – a plan to start seeing similar things in some new and up-and-coming Tulsa developments.
“The city is favorable to these ideas, so just a lot of momentum from all sides,” Griffin said. “It is wonderful that we have developments like Santa Fe Square, with incentives that can help further that to happen.”
Some projections show parking needs will be cut in half over the next 30 years as people start giving up cars and cities start building with walkability in mind.
Griffin said, “I think, early on, it was an advocacy issue, so groups like Smart Growth Tulsa were out there promoting those ideas. Now, it is expanding into the circles of reality and how do we make this happen and what does it mean for this development?”