Parking has Eaten American Cities

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Parking has Eaten American Cities

#1

Post by I am nobody » Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:59 pm

https://www.citylab.com/transportation/ ... es/565715/
Scharnhorst finds that there are more than 2 million parking spaces in Philadelphia, 1.85 million in New York, 1.6 million each in Seattle and Des Moines, and just over 100,000 in tiny Jackson, which has a population of about 10,000.

Parking takes up a huge amount of space: Jackson has more than 50 parking spaces per acre, 25 times its residential density of just two households per acre. Jackson has a whopping 27 parking spaces for each of its households.
The authors used satellite and other data to inventory parking spaces on-road and otherwise in 5 US cities of wildly varying size. In four of the five cities, there were more parking spaces than humans, and the the land value of those parking spaces ran into the billions of dollars in total and tens to hundreds of thousands per resident.

Parking obviously isn't solely to blame for high rents or housing crises - New York is by far the least over-parked city on that list and still has some of the most expensive housing in the world, but Seattle's problems surely aren't helped by having $35 billion dollars of land locked up in providing 5 parking spaces per household.

As mentioned here a lot of this absurdity is down to poorly designed zoning laws requiring developers to build a certain number of parking spaces regardless of whether it makes sense for them to do so. It acts as a subsidy on driving (in that parking is cheaper than it would be in an unregulated system) paid for by the lost economic activity or housing the land could've been used for, and it even hurts drivers by encouraging more people to drive and thus further congesting cities, raising commute times and air pollution.

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Re: Parking has Eaten American Cities

#2

Post by Deku Tree » Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:35 pm

Interesting. That's not something I'd ever thought much about.

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Re: Parking has Eaten American Cities

#3

Post by New! Tazy Ten » Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:17 pm

Maybe we should be investing in trains, if it will allow more housing.

:shrug: I don't know. All this parking space and I still get mad when a place has nowhere to park. It's time to get a scooter or bicycle. :p

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Re: Parking has Eaten American Cities

#4

Post by Turrican » Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:20 pm

Fines by day, unwanted love by night, sometimes both at the same time, why would anyone but cops (and weird singles) like parking lots ?

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Re: Parking has Eaten American Cities

#5

Post by Shane » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:54 pm

I might drive around a big city, but I wouldn't drive to it. Train is convenient enough, even in America.
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Re: Parking has Eaten American Cities

#6

Post by steeze » Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:16 am

I live on Long Island so I take the train into Manhatten every so often for work or to go have some fun. All I can say is this. There is no parking in the city. It's usually pretty brutal if you drive in and have to find a place to park. There will be riots in the streets if you start taking away parking from people who commute for work. I don't know what kind of variables were put into place to account for the population of the city effectively doubling on a work day but i'm sure it's the case with all cities in the U.S. Wishful thinking to crunch the data and say these are the resources that we should be capitalizing on not parking, but it's a pipe dream in NYC.

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Re: Parking has Eaten American Cities

#7

Post by smol Kat » Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:52 am

I'm honestly surprised I still use my car as much as I do, having moved to a large(ish) city a year and a half ago. And public transportation here is halfway decent, man!
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Re: Parking has Eaten American Cities

#8

Post by ScottyMcGee » Tue Jul 31, 2018 1:16 pm

Everyone loves cars until you realize how clunky they are in traffic and how much of a pain in the ass it is to park them. Time for teleportation or jetpacks, man.

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Re: Parking has Eaten American Cities

#9

Post by Apollo the Just » Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:04 pm

The American city I live in does not have enough parking for everyone who lives here. We pay an extra $60/mo to park in a garage below our complex, which is lucky because most people need to shell out for a parking permit to park on the street and hope they get a spot within 3 blocks of their home. Our public transit is pretty damn good for America but there are still a lot of places you can’t get if you don’t have a car. So you either add 3 hours to your transit time and take some bus/Train combination, or you have a car.

Public transit infrastructure is not good enough to expect people to give up their cars but we don’t have room for all the cars. It’s a nightmare. SF’s solution to this problem is to make everyone who has to commute over the bridge pay 3 more bucks every time to improve our trains, while they intend to extend train service further south to bring more people into this already congested area, whereas half the folks in SF still need a 30 minute bus ride to get anywhere near a train. It’s a mess

I’m glad they’re extending train service don’t get me wrong but it’s **** expensive and not always accessible and is not going to solve the “too many damn people here” problem lmao

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Re: Parking has Eaten American Cities

#10

Post by I am nobody » Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:18 pm

SF has a totally separate zoning problem in that they marked an absolutely absurd amount of the city as single or two-family dwellings ages ago and refuse to update it now that it's a major city. It's probably impossible to design any sensible large city around those constraints, and the upshot was an effective 53% increase in property prices even back in 2003. Prices themselves have more than tripled since then, so I doubt the zoning impact has gotten any better.


Here's a map of SF's zones for anyone curious.

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Re: Parking has Eaten American Cities

#11

Post by CaptHayfever » Wed Aug 01, 2018 4:26 am

^St. Louis's zoning map isn't much better, thanks to huge areas given the ever-so-meaningless designation of "unredistricted district", not to mention the fact that a lot of it is straight-up wrong. One of the "industrial" areas is a decades-old car dealership, when all the other car dealerships are in commercial zones. Major parks are marked as single- or two-family dwelling areas, as is a commercial botanical garden. The "Jefferson Memorial District" (the Arch grounds) isn't nearly as big as depicted. Tons of these "commercial" areas have multiple-family dwellings in them as well (which is a good thing, but the map is still confusing).

And that was just the independent city! Then, of course, there's the fact that you have to specially-order & pay for a zoning map for St. Louis County, & I'm not doing that at 3:30am. Best I could scrounge up was this 15-year-old mess, which is neither accurate (nor was it 15 years ago) nor complete (the area where I live is covered by the key & not marked at all, for starters).

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Re: Parking has Eaten American Cities

#12

Post by Marilink » Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:03 am

Every detail I ever learn about San Francisco makes me want to avoid it more and more

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Re: Parking has Eaten American Cities

#13

Post by MeowMan » Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:00 am

this thread is one of the few things that have ever made me feel good about living in the middle of nowhere

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Re: Parking has Eaten American Cities

#14

Post by Bomby » Wed Aug 01, 2018 11:51 am

SF has some of the worst zoning laws in the US. Wanna know why it's so damn expensive? Ridiculous zoning laws. Wanna decrease poverty and homelessness? Step one is to get rid of all these damn low-density zoning laws. "Rent control" doesn't work.

I now realize this thread is about parking, not housing. Carry on

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Re: Parking has Eaten American Cities

#15

Post by I am nobody » Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:02 pm

Bomby wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 11:51 am
I now realize this thread is about parking, not housing. Carry on
They're pretty tightly linked, though. You need parking because people live far away from where they're trying to go and/or from other transit options. But then the parking takes up space that could've gone to housing, which means more people live further away, which means more of them drive cars...

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Re: Parking has Eaten American Cities

#16

Post by Apollo the Just » Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:28 pm

Looks like we’re just gonna have to hope someone invents teleportation soon.

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Re: Parking has Eaten American Cities

#17

Post by Shane » Wed Aug 01, 2018 6:19 pm

MeowMan wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:00 am
this thread is one of the few things that have ever made me feel good about living in the middle of nowhere
I live in the middle of somewhere, but it's your typical New England suburb, aside from nearby Gillette Stadium in a town that surely was not designed with it in mind. Convenient to everything but not so convenient that it's inconvenient. Definitely need a car, though.
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Re: Parking has Eaten American Cities

#18

Post by Random User » Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:49 pm

The worst part of the problem is that city-wrought parking requirements are incredibly arbitrary and only exist to relieve cities from the burden of solving the parking problem. But we really pay for it in every way other than as a driver. City planners, I think, don't even really know how to properly deal with off-street parking.

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Re: Parking has Eaten American Cities

#19

Post by smol Kat » Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:51 am

^And planners in Frederick don't know how to properly deal with on-street parking.

Seriously, the roads there are SO NARROW that it literally freaks me out to drive anywhere there, and they are putting new subdivisions in with the option for street parking and YOU WOULD THINK that they would be wide enough but NO, these new roads are designed like old-timey roads when nobody had cars. Seriously, wtf?? Baltimore is better about street planning! Baltimore COUNTY is better about street planning!

I know this is a completely new problem I am discussing but it's also a parking-related problem and I wanted to rant about it. I'm done now :lol:
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Re: Parking has Eaten American Cities

#20

Post by е и ժ е я » Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:56 am

You ever see a full parking lot for a K-mart or Walmart? Me neither.
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