The Problem of Parking

3rd February 2016

Clive Thompson writing in Mother Jones (Jan/Feb 2016 issue):

"The average automobile spends 95% of its time sitting in place. People buy cars because they need to move around, but the amount of time they actually do move around is tiny. So the cars are parked, and in multiple spaces: A car owner needs a spot near home, but also spots near other places he or she might go—the office, a shopping mall, [etc].

“A 2011 study at the University of California-Berkeley found that the United States has somewhere close to a billion parking spots. Since there are only 253 million passenger cars and light trucks in the country, that means we have roughly four times more parking spaces than vehicles. If you totalled up all the area [in the US] devoted to parking, it'd be roughly 6,500 square miles, bigger than Connecticut. …

“A study by the Sightline Institute found that at least 15% of the price of rent in Seattle stemmed from developers' cost of building parking. Those costs are passed on to tenants whether they own a car or not (on top of any per space fee the landlord charges)—padding rent by an average of $246 a month in Seattle and $225 nationwide.

“And worst of all may be the emissions that parking causes. Studies have found that anywhere from about 30% to 60% of the cars you see driving around a downtown core are just circling, looking for an open space to claim.”

Read the full article at: http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2016/01/future-parking-self-drivi...

 

Incidently:

  • If ask the typical driver in an Australian country town they will say their biggest problem is the lack of parking spaces.
  • Have a look, for example, at a Google Earth Map of the bayside township of central Mornington (Victoria, Australia). Just as much space is devoted to parking as the buildings. And this was a town once connected to Melbourne's urban rail network by a train line. They pulled up the line in the town centre and built a shopping complex. Crazy stuff and a lesson to at least maintain the sustainable transport corridors.

Parking in Mornington

Parking in Mornington

Half the township of central Mornington is taken up with parking spaces

Half the township of central Mornington is taken up with parking spaces

The train line was removed to provide more space for cars.

The train line was removed to provide more space for cars.

The End of the Line.

The End of the Line.