Underground Parking at Markets

Parking is always a bugaboo at markets. The better the location, the worse the parking it seems. The sad fact is – it’s better to have a market with a parking problem than not have a parking problem.
One solution is to excavate and install parking below the market. Some markets are beginnning to do just this as these two photos from Turin and Barcelona show. It’s expensive – but can be justified in terms of preservation of place, market functionality and civic beauty. At the right scale, these can also pay for themselves which is really the best argument of all.
It is not the most enlightened policy to encourage people to drive to markets (pedestrian, public transit and bicycle-friendly access is better) but we are still deeply car-dependent and customer surveys show that people who drive to a market spend more per capita than those who arrive by other means.

August 14, 2011
Photo top – Turin – completed undeground parking at Madama Cristina Market
Bottom – Barcelona – underground parking excavation at Mercat des Sants