Some months ago we looked at many of the back lanes of Celebration in Florida, one of the most successful new urbanist towns around. Then at Tradition, by Minto, which has given up and gone traditional suburban with garages facing the street.
Garrison Village had parking off back lanes. Many of these lanes were classic new urbanist, and could have been mistaken for Celebration:
Mostly one-ways, they created a nice environment for slow motorists and playing kids with wheeled toys. They actually felt like places; and kids might have fond memories of playing there.
With clusters of townhouses or duplexes mixed in with singles, on a variety of lot widths, the lanes had room for landscaping. But where towns predominated, it was rather different.
This row of houses has one enclosed garage per unit, plus an adjacent parking open parking space. This is probably reasonable response to market demand, since affluent households are likely to have two vehicles, particularly if one or more residents is commuting. But it means the whole back yard area of some homes was pretty much all parking.
Here’s another set of backs; not many trees near those houses on their side of the lane:
In reviewing some of the Celebration pictures posted earlier this year, it became obvious that Celebration had more double garage units than here. The garages above are pulled away from the house, creating a private patio space between the garage and the house. Attached garages reduce the outdoor space to a postage stamp.
These are the backs of the row of bungalows seen from the front in yesterday’s story. The widespread use of loose gravel for parking pads does permit greater absorption of rainwater, reduces flooding, and cuts down on that “sea of parking” effect.
Sometimes the gravel was “plain jane” crushed stone, sometimes it was fancier: