Home Rent a car Does the “Culdesac” without parking in Arizona have a future?

Does the “Culdesac” without parking in Arizona have a future?


America has, since the mid-20th century, encouraged automobiles to dominate the built landscape. A variety of regulations, subsidies, and other government policies have shaped the result, and a prime example at the local level is minimum parking. As I wrote in a previous Catalyst item, this leads to a vicious cycle as precious space is allocated to cars, forcing residents to rely on them and preventing mass adoption of other styles of development and transportation. But some planned developments burst this bubble by encouraging walking and reducing the role of cars in neighborhood life. A leader in Tempe, AZ, passing through “Culdesac”, completely forbids parking.

Tempe isn’t exactly an urban paradise, with a population density of 5,101 / m² (compared to 8,662 in a suburb of Boston, for example) and a motorization rate roughly around the national average. Metro Phoenix is ​​also experiencing significant growth, adding approximately 700,000 since 2010, and much of that growth can be characterized as self-reliant sprawl.

Culdesac Tempé it’s the opposite – a planned $ 170 million development slated to open next year, it boasts of being the first car-free development in the United States. Residents are explicitly prohibited parking within a quarter-mile radius of the project. In phases 1 complete construction, the 761-unit complex will house 1,000 residents and is adjacent to streetcar and bus tracks, providing more convenient access to downtown Tempe and Arizona State University. Next city reports as leases and deposits have increased recently as the resort prepares to open.

“As of last week,” writes Sandy Smith, “33 leases have been signed for the 260 units slated to open between summer 2022 and spring 2023, and another 300 potential tenants have deposited a deposit of 100. $ to stay on the project waiting list. “

The studios are currently expected to be rented at $ 1,090 / month and the 1 bedroom at $ 1,250, which is significantly lower than Tempe. median rent 1 bedroom. Culdesac’s marketing department wrote in an email that their refusal to build a parking lot had reduced rents by $ 60 / month and freed up a lot of space to build common areas.

To this end, Culdesac presents itself as a town 5 minutes away which is built like a city center. It has shops to meet the daily needs of residents and common areas where they can socialize in public places lined with trees or by the pool.

Culdesac’s zero-parking model has aroused skepticism. As Car and driver the dish, Tempe was “built for cars, or at least on the assumption that cars were the way people moved,” and further, “four months of the year in Tempe have average temperatures of 100 degrees or more”.

But it would be fairer to say that Culdesac does not need a car ownership for residents to live conveniently and comfortably. Recognizing that residents will always need cars, however, this allows use them. Culdesac has partnered with several shared mobility companies. Residents will receive unlimited transit passes and 15% off Lyft rides. A ridesharing company called Envoy will offer car rentals for as little as $ 5 / hour. Bird obtains an exclusive operating agreement to provide shared scooters within a minute’s walk. There will be an internal shuttle service and the complex will have over 1,000 bicycle parking spaces.

This access to alternative mobility will be crucial for success. TechCrunch reports that providers are already moving to a ‘subscription’ model rather than per-ride billing, which could encourage developers to follow Culdesac by connecting residents with subscriptions, allowing them access to bikes and scooters at any time . But transport trips may be less necessary in the future: some speculate that the increase in homework, often used as an argument against town planning, will actually reduce commuting.

Culdesac is of course an untested model – development is not complete, although the waiting list for deposit is encouraging. But I have encountered projects nationwide that reflect Culdesac’s traits. The Open Project in Salt Lake City, while not explicitly car-free, is a self-proclaimed net zero project that reserves part of its parking lot for shared vehicles and bike sharing. that of San Antonio Pearl development is a group of revived warehouses that behaves like a city within a city. The Pearl parking lot, initially limited, has been placed on the outskirts while the center of the development is reserved for shops and parks. In August 2020, Singapore started working on Tengah Park District, which places road and parking infrastructure below grade.

The philosophical point of all these developments is not only that a different conception leads to a different behavior in matters of mobility and transport; but that the segregation of cars from economic activity, however subtle, leads to much more pleasant civic spaces.

The prospect of other Culdesac-type projects happening in the future depends on the cities easing parking lots (Culdesac itself got a Tempe waiver). Fortunately, many cities take this route, with Hartford, Baltimore and San Francisco reduce or altogether by eliminating parking minimums.

Getting more Culdesacs will also require changes within the private sector, from developers who are willing to move away from their traditional suburban pro formas to financial institutions betting on unorthodox models. Car and driver notes that Culdesac CEO Ryan Johnson aspires to build something similar in cities like Dallas and Raleigh, and maybe other developers are waiting in the mix. The proliferation of such development without a car or “light car” would reduce the dependence on cars that governments have imposed on cities.

This article presented additional reports from Market town planning report content manager Ethan Finlan.

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