As the City of Harford seeks to rebuild the supporting momentum for revitalization that existed prior to the pandemic, a study by THA Consulting of Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, indicated that, as development unfolds in the coming years, the City may have to replace and even increase the number of parking spaces that already exist. According to a study by the University of Connecticut, Hartford has 80 percent more parking spaces than cities of similar size, and the so-called parking craters that were developed when buildings were demolished for redevelopment projects but were scrapped, have been frequently ridiculed as blemishes on the landscape.
In the past, the City was applauded for eliminating minimum parking requirements citywide on new projects, as a means of supporting redevelopment and promoting alternative modes of transportation through public dependence on mass transit, but as noted in the recent study, such a transition has been at a slower pace than that of other cities. Erin Howard, Hartford’s Director of Economic Development, asserted the need for a delicate balance between creating the right type of parking that supports redevelopment yet simultaneously encouraging building on surface lots throughout the city. The study alluded to the limited power that the city has in its effort to drive pricing and use parking as a means of influencing future development in the city.
There is also a concern for small businesses due to the upsurge of work-at-home business response to the pandemic which has since increased in popularity therefore, the need for businesses to thrive and stay open, has become a primary focus. The current objective is to build mixed-use residential/commercial properties in strategic locations and strategize on both new and existing parking lots through mixed-use parking arrangements that can accommodate commercial parking during the daytime and residential parking after work hours. Further details can be viewed on the Hartford Courant website.
Source: Kenneth R. Gosselin, Hartford Courant, Sunday, March 5, 2023.