Parking at the Arch grounds is, today, singularly focused on the existing parking garage at the north side of the Arch grounds which has 1224 parkings spaces. By 2015, the garage will almost certainly have fewer spaces as every single design team in the Arch grounds design competition has plans to remodel or reutilize the space.
Of the 2.4 million people who visit the Arch every year, a significant percentage arrive from the north. Some are arriving from Washington Ave and some from Laclede’s Landing, but a number of people are arriving from the north parking garage. For this reason, every design team, except for the Behnisch team, makes some attempt to redistribute parking around the Arch grounds to encourage more visitors to wander the quieter south side of the grounds.
Four design teams propose adding parking to the underutilized south side of the Arch grounds. Three teams, also, propose adding parking on the west side underneath Luther Ely Smith Square. The PWP team, also, includes a large 800-space garage underneath Kiener Plaza.
What can’t be forgotten is that the existing parking garage does double duty: in addition to the Arch grounds, the garage also serves visitors to Laclede’s Landing where parking is at a premium. Reducing parking too much, then, at the north garage could negatively impact local businesses. Vice-versa, improvements to the Arch grounds brought about via a reduction in parking could bring increased patronage to the Arch and spillover into Laclede’s Landing. The addition of public parking on the south side of the Arch grounds could, likewise, do the same for Chouteau’s Landing.