Howard County Blog

A Blog on what is going on in Howard County

Sunday, February 12, 2006


The current proposed plan for downtown Columbia has buildings built on all of the existing parking.

Will they build enough parking garage spaces to replace the existing parking and handle the increase in cars resulting from the new buildings? The parking plan for the recently approved 22 story building raises grave concerns that enough parking will be built. The 22 story building will only have 1.5 parking spaces per residential unit and about have of these spaces will be tandem parking spaces where cars park behind each other blocking each other in. Most households particularly in upper income units without ready access to a Metro have one car per driver. The condos in the 22 story building are planned to be a half million to over a million dollars per unit. In this cost range it is likely that it will take two incomes to afford these units resulting in two drivers. Plus I have a hard time seeing people who pay a half million to over a million dollars for a condo putting up with tandem parking spaces. In addition, where will guests of residents park? If a resident has family over for Thanksgiving or friends over for a party, where will they park? If residents have family visiting from out of town, where will they park?

If the county is approving parking plans like this one for the 22 story building it significantly undermines trust that they will make sure the rest of the plan will have enough parking. And even if they build enough garage spaces will the garages be paid parking? And if the parking around the mall is paid won’t people go shop at Arundel Mills instead? And if people shop at Arundel Mills instead what will that do to the economic vitality of downtown Columbia?