Thursday, June 24, 2010

Too much parking?

Tom Vanderbilt is at it again, with a series at Slate looking for ideas to make cities more nimble. Today he explores whether parking should be reduced, as opposed to increased. In particular the work of Professor Shoup

But to critics, minimum parking requirements warp markets and create a de facto subsidy in favor of driving. Donald Shoup, a professor of planning and author of The High Cost of Free Parking, is withering in his critique of parking minimums: "They distort transportation choices toward cars, and thus increase traffic congestion, air pollution, and energy consumption. They reduce land values and tax revenues. They damage the economy and degrade the environment. They debase architecture and urban design. They burden enterprise and prevent the reuse of older buildings. And they increase the prices for everything except parking."

The other thing about parking that I find most annoying is that it expands the space of buildings. You walk from one moat or parking to another. Parking changes the scale of our communities as much as the actual driving. Something to think about.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

if you can't have best always strive for better.

The other day I had a work function that required me to head up to San Francisco, and in all my grand ambition I was hoping to take the train up. Unfortunately a fire drill entailed and I missed the train. So instead I ended up driving my car to the event. The saving grace was that I was able to drive some people up and back saving a few other cars from being on the road.

Not best, but sometimes better is all you can do.