Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Where The Cars Go

The geometry of parking issues (wake up, dear readers, this is important!!!) are particularly easy to understand (or should be) in Philadelphia rowhouse neighborhoods where lot sizes are typically 16' wide and 45-80' deep (60'ish is typical). Do the math, and you realize that on street parking can handle about one car per house. You can stick a ground level front facing garage on a house (fucking curb cuts) but that just replaces a public spot with a private one. Alley access either doesn't exist or is insufficient to handle rear parking access even on lots that would be big enough to handle a spot. So when people say they want more parking, my answer is usually ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Where does it go? Most blocks depths are barely large enough to handle a surface lot, and you'd have to bulldoze multiple structures (where people might even live!) for one which would hold relatively few cars. Even if you had infinite amounts of money to spend on multi-level parking structures, they'd require a lot of bulldozing. Anyway, I just think the scale should make this obvious to people but it isn't. There just isn't anywhere to put the cars.

That's less obvious in places where there are larger lots and plenty of existing parking structures. What's one more? A few more? But they're usually just evidence of bulldozers past. Things were knocked down to build those lots. How much more are you going to knock down to build more?

Cities just aren't compatible with the one car per person, one car per commuter, one car per job framework. Try to make that possible, and you just hollow out a city. Not everyone wants to live in a city! Not every job needs to be in a city! Lots of parking elsewhere.