What role does parking play in how we decide to get around?
America is addicted to free parking. Excessive parking create an emptiness that divides cities and make them difficult to traverse without a car. Importantly, the availability of free parking is a major factor in getting people to choose driving over other options.
In Los Angeles County, a full 14 percent of land is dedicated to Finding better land uses for parking lots will encourage people to put more creative thought into choosing their modes of transportation.Innovative parking policy ideas, such as the demand-based parking pricing at work in cities like San Francisco and D.C., can help reduce trips and use spaces more efficiently — but will go nowhere without political and public support.
Popular Parking Stories
VOX / Mobility Lab Video
The high cost of free parking
It’s estimated that, in America, there are eight parking spots for every car, covering up to 30 percent of our cities, and collectively taking up about as much space as the state of West Virginia. The more parking we have, the more encouraged we are to drive and to shape our urban landscapes based on that parking.
Recent Parking News
Autonomous vehicles appear to be wonderful in many ways. They will help seniors and young people get places. They’ll reduce traffic accidents and making driving safer. They will eliminate vast swaths of parking. Then again, they may worsen the most harmful aspects of sprawl. They could create lost tax revenue. They may cripple public transit…. Read more »
Back in 2008, when the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation applied for permits for a new headquarters, the city of Seattle required that it not offer free parking and that it reduce the number of employees who drove alone to work. At the time, nearly 90 percent of Gates Foundation employees drove alone. A year… Read more »
Not only did Columbus, Ohio win the USDOT’s recent Smart Cities Challenge, but now it’s got one of the best ideas we’ve seen recently. There’s “a surge of redevelopment downtown, but office rents are tumbling and vacancy rates are on the up. The problem, business leaders say: Lack of parking.” But instead of trying to waste… Read more »
Influential Canadian journalist (and former forest firefighter and ranger in Canada’s High Arctic islands!) discusses Mobility Lab’s recent parking video and offers several examples of places that are dropping the parking requirements that have for so long made many places less people-friendly. Build it and they will come is a business mantra. It encourages entrepreneurs… Read more »
This is a jaw-dropping sub-headline in Quartz’s article, and one that should serve as a talking point on the reform of parking pricing in America: “If you’re renting a US city apartment without a car, 16% of your rent pays for parking you don’t need.” Parking should be thought of as an equity issue, argues… Read more »
When Steve Jobs pitched Apple’s new California campus – which opened earlier this year – he wanted to turn parking lots into green landscapes. But the city of Cupertino demanded 11,000 parking spots, which put a wrench in that part of Jobs’ vision. Cupertino’s parking requirements are not unique. It’s estimated that, in America, there… Read more »
Portland, Oakland, San Francisco, and Omaha have the most expensive residential parking permits of the 75 largest cities in the U.S. by population, according to investigators from a Portland TV news station. They put together a handy chart that shows that only 45 of those 75 cities charge for residential parking permits, proving that parking… Read more »
[Editor: An interesting update to the Hawaii story (June 30, 2017): Companies that work in transportation could advise the transportation management association and help create policies to ease traffic on Waikiki’s streets. Makes sense, and is similar to recommendations recently in a George Mason study on how Arlington, Va., could work more closely with delivery companies… Read more »
How much space cities provide to different transportation options is an easily-visualized hint into how they prioritize different ways of getting around, a relationship made even more evident through the basic geometric inefficiencies of driving. As an exercise to investigate just how unfair this allotment of space can be, Moovel Lab, the creative side project of… Read more »
5 reasons why retail business can no longer afford to ignore bicyclists Once, providing a secure bicycle parking infrastructure was an option that was only considered by socially-conscious business owners in bike-friendly communities. But with bicycle commuting rapidly growing, that has changed. Now, business owners in almost all communities must face the reality that a… Read more »
This post originally appeared on the Arlington Transportation Partners blog. Each parking space in a garage can take up as much as 400 square feet, or 36 percent of an average Arlington County, Va., apartment, and spaces can cost anywhere from $40,000 to $60,000 each to build. The availability of parking also has a strong… Read more »
This is part 2 of a two-part series on how advocates can create connected cities. Part 1 examined public agencies reshaping their transportation priorities. Pinellas County, Fla., just west of Tampa Bay, is one of several local governments in the nation to essentially embed Uber and Lyft into the local transit system. Transit riders can… Read more »