Go ahead and make fun of “Park your car in Harvard Yard”, but finding places to park everyone’s car in urban areas is a significant and expensive issue. Park at home, at work, and at the store, and watch the number of spots multiply. Public transit helps, but regulations demand houses, businesses, and shops – as well as schools, churches, and event centers – to accommodate lots of cars. A city like Seattle can have five times more parking spaces than homes (5.2). That much valuable real estate adds up to about $117,000 per space. The variation with city size, layout, and transit is great; but the issue is one that is being addressed by urbanization and automation. As cities try to increase density, turning parking into housing becomes attractive. As automation increases, the need for parking diminishes if car ownership decreases. The modern urban landscape that’s defined by parking lots, garages, and curb-side spots is due to change, probably with unintended consequences, both benefits and problems. Autonomous vehicles may aid homelessness. Good luck predicting that trend.

One thought on “Parking Costs

  1. Pingback: Data That Matters July 2018 | Pretending Not To Panic

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