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.

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2 responses to “Parking makes one do funny things…

  1. Jeong January 11, 2012 at 7:50 am

    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. Nick January 11, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    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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