Forty Eight More Parking Spots for a Pub?
Mo’s Irish Pub in Wauwatosa, WI intends to demolish two homes to create 48 new parking spots for their patrons. With the expanded parking lot Mo’s Irish Pub will have 179 parking spots, and although they do serve food it is likely that many of these spots are for pub patrons. Yup. One hundred seventy nine parking spots for a pub. Some residents believe this will make their streets safer, others fear the loss of their neighborhood, the business argues it will keep patrons out of the neighborhood, but most certainly the intent is for this to fuel new growth, to insure more people can drive to the pub.
Mo’s Irish Pub is just a symptom, just one example, and not the root of problem. Our car culture is to blame. When cities have zoning that makes it acceptable for an tavern to have 100s of parking spots and actively encourages them to be located outside of walkable areas, when patrons complain of a lack of parking to get to happy hour, when it is acceptable to drive to the tavern what do we expect?
Again legislators are looking at toughening drunk driving laws which they certainly should, but it is time to look at land use patterns, and the anti-transit / pro-automobile bias as part of this problem. The equation isn’t this simple, but at the same time isn’t all that more complicated than: “car culture + car-oriented location + drinking = drunk driving.”