Parking makes one do funny things…

I’m not sure how I ran across this article on parking (of all things) at the Los Angeles Magazine, but it’s a fascinating read. Fittingly enough, I started reading it while I was in Seattle last week and becoming outraged over the price of parking. It’s a fascinating article for something we tend to take for granted (or that drives us slightly crazy). Either way, I highly recommend giving it a read through. In particular, I was interested in the implication that environmentalism and market forces could work towards beneficial ends in regards to urban parking issues.

2 thoughts on “Parking makes one do funny things…

  1. Totally, and coupled with that anger is that there’s no alternative to driving. I’d be ok with being gouged for parking if it was an option I chose among other viable (and cheaper) options. Making parking and driving more expensive for urban planning and environmental reasons needs to happen alongside massive infrastructure improvements (public transportation!), so I wonder if the article didn’t overstate a bit how market forces solve the problem even while pointing out parking’s effect on cities. Changing the zoning requirements would definitely make a big difference as the article said, but smarter parking meters seem like improving a regressive tax and a curiosity that would help only on the margins of creating a more sustainable cityscape.

    That being said, it was great to read a good article on the impact parking has on the environment and cities, and I think there’s a certain critical mass occurring on attitudes to parking. There was a study about a year or two ago talking about how many spaces there are per person in the U.S., and it was a staggering amount. I wonder if anyone in the article authored that study . . .

  2. Yeah. I got the feeling that market forces leading to things like carpooling is one thing, but to suggest, as I think the article does to a certain extent, that market forces will create a boon for environmentalism is another. The lack of viable alternative means of transportation is the biggest issue and I think there are as many market forces against infrastructure improvements that will decrease car usage as there are potentially for it.

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