The low price of freed parking - Greenbiz


The 270 million vehicles in the United States are parked over 90 percent of the time. There are far more parking spaces than vehicles. How many spaces? The data is imprecise. There could be 500 million parking lot spaces and 1 billion spaces on streets. Add parking in home garages, carports and driveways, and another estimate is 2 billion parking spaces. Many cities allocate more space for cars than people and that includes cities desperate to create more housing.

Many wasted spaces are being put to better use, thanks to forward-thinking city executives, urban planners, corporate facilities planners and innovative thinkers.

More space for sustainable mobility

San Francisco converted parking spaces on congested corridors to transit lanes, allowing commuters to reach work faster on transit than by driving. The transition was not expensive; the city painted the lanes red. To move commuters even faster, dedicated busways on busiest routes are being upgraded to bus rapid transit.

Some cities also allow private multi-passenger shuttles access to such bus lanes. What’s more, converting parking spaces into pick-up/drop-off spaces for Uber, Lyft and other ridesharing services would reduce the current practice of double parking that is clogging streets. Goods delivery also benefits when more parking spaces are converted to loading zones.

Transit can be wonderful, but if you’re late for work or an important gathering, you need to cover the last mile(s) as quickly as possible.

Last-mile solutions include bike sharing, scooter memberships and a plethora of one-, two- and three-wheel solutions that currently bring chaos to some sidewalks and streets. Converting street parking to micromobility lanes could help solve this growing problem.

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