The main problem of the car in the city is that it is very annoying. This makes it inefficient, and its use as a means of transport implies a huge amount of public space: it takes about 180 square feet of urban space to create a standard parking space (the driveway is typically about 24 feet, the rest for the spaces of manoeuvre necessary to enter and exit). In addition, cars on average remain standing more than 95% of the time: a car that is used 2 hours a day, remains parked for 22 hours.
Cars in the city occupy a disproportionate space. More than the space you have in the office to work, as much as the space you have at home to live. In open-plan offices, people have on average half of the space dedicated to cars in parking lots. A family that lives in an apartment of 70 square meters, needs an additional 25 square meters to park, if they have two cars, they will need more space. That is 70 square meters to live and 50 square meters to park two cars.
In the United States, the interesting thing is that many drivers don’t believe it when they realize that the bare and raw parking space usually ranges from 8.5 to 9.0 feet. In addition to small cars, the most common cars usually measure about 4 meters long, and over the years they have become increasingly wide. Longer cars must be taken into account in parking lots.
The more you park, the more you will encourage car use
This simple statement is often mocked by many in urban mobility. They laugh based on a simple and fallacious logic: if they find parking, they stop and, therefore, fewer cars circulate. Nothing could be more wrong. If there is more parking, more people will drive by car for a very simple reason: if there are parking lots at the destination, they will think or expect to find a place to park and, therefore, will consider it convenient to go by car instead of, for example, bike, or urban transport. And the more cars there are, the more cars will go.
For example, Los Angeles has 3.3 parking spaces per vehicle, a very high level for many European cities, but largely insufficient to eliminate parking problems. The phenomenon is widely known by experts in urban planning and urban mobility: parking lots attract traffic, as do the construction of new roads. If from the territorial and urban point of view they have the possibility of building many parking spaces, what will the citizens do? It’s obvious: they will drive more.
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