These U.S. Cities Have More Parking Lots Than Housing

Sprawling cities have a lot of cars, a lot of places to park them, and not much else to do within walking distance. Here’s why cities should have less parking.

“THE TWIN GODS OF SMOOTH Traffic and Ample Parking have turned our downtowns into places that are easy to get to, but not worth arriving at.” The quote is from urban designer Jeff Speck. It’s hard to think of a pithier one to describe the parking pandemic blighting America’s city centers—except perhaps the title of a Bloomberg article on the same topic: “Parking has eaten America’s cities”.

That article cites a 2018 study of the space and money devoted to parking in five American cities. In that year, both Seattle and Des Moines had 1.6 million parking spaces. New York City had 1.85 million, and Philadelphia 2.2 million. Tiny Jackson, Wyoming had 100,000 parking spaces, roughly one for each inhabitant.

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