“Park Once” Concept Aims To Make San Juan Capistrano More Walkable

September 8, 2010 § Leave a comment

As the City of San Juan Capistrano makes efforts to transform their downtown into a more attractive, walkable, unique, business-friendly destination, the issue of parking – as expected – has taken a central role. We at Studio One Eleven are working on a Master Plan for the downtown, and have been part of the recent discussion within the City to implement a new parking ordinance. This ordinance would incorporate the “park once” concept, considering the downtown as a place where people can walk to multiple destinations using a single parking space. The ordinance would also reduce the parking requirements for commercial uses, including existing downtown dining establishments wishing to expand. We think these approaches make a lot of sense of downtown San Juan Capistrano. It already has a concentration of visitors who go to the Mission and then patronize restaurants and shops across the street, as well as many visitors who arrive via the downtown train station that do not require any parking spaces as they walk around downtown. Although the context is somewhat different, it is interesting to compare overall parking ratios in downtown San Juan Capistrano – currently at about 3.6 stalls (on- and off-street) per 1000 sf of development to Second Street in Belmont Shore in Long Beach, which has a parking ratio of 2.3  stalls per 1000 sf. Even with less parking, Second Street is an immensely successful retail main street with very little tenant turnover, and San Juan Capistrano can certainly look to it as a model. Reducing parking requirements and looking at the downtown as a whole parking district as opposed to a collection of individual buildings and parking lots is an important step in transforming downtown San Juan Capistrano into a vibrant town center.
The City Council agrees, as they recently approved the ordinance at the September 7th meeting.
Read more about the City’s ordinance in the OC Register here.

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