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There was some of that where I lived in Italy, very little in Austria, and it was all much better than having vast, empty parking lots sitting there while house prices climb and climb.


Is a pretty common sight in the US. What a colossal waste of land!

Here's the book everyone cites on the issue:


I don't think a parking lot in rural Bend (or any rural American town) is the best example to use. People in Bend are going to rely on cars a lot more than people in downtown Portland and property is likely cheaper + regulated less.

Here's the first lot I found in Portland... nice, waterfront parking!


Average house prices are north of 400K in "rural" Bend (which is actually closing in on 100K people - not big, but not tiny, either).

And of course people use cars a lot to get around here. That doesn't mean the government has to require it: any business that depends on car-dependent people is going to want to provide some parking. There's no reason for the government to get involved in it.

Also: part of the reason people need cars to get around is because we fill land up with useless BS like that, rather than housing or businesses or commercial - empty space stretches everything else out so that more trips require a car.

Government not requiring it encourages freeloading on neighbours. In my post-soviet country, there's a lot of pressure on government to require ample parking. Otherwise both residential and commercial buildings tend to freeride on their neighbours and use their parking.

What is interesting, this evolved despite OK public transit and very little cars in the early 90s.

I don't know how things work in your country, but in the US, Austria and Italy, there are street parking spots that are public. They do not belong to anyone. If it's a problem that they're always full all the time, you can adopt strategies to create some turnover.

This is far superior to the government dictating X parking spots per house (2 in the city I live in), and Y per type of business.

In most cases each apartment block have it's own parking lot off the street. Wether it's 5, 50 or 100 years old. Many streets are too narrow for parking on both sides. Tiny lots either cause spill over to other parking lots nearby or illegal parking on the greenery or in the street (illegal because street is too narrow for parking).

A recent example.. There was a mall with a parking lot, not too small not too big. A new apartment building was built. One of their selling points was huge free parking nearby. Mall was pissed off that their parking lot is full and customers can't find a spot and installed barriers to prevent overnight parking (2 or 4h free, longer - €€€). Now people who bought apartments are pissed because they were told the parking lot was public (= gov-owned). Mall customers are pissed because barriers is inconvenience. Mall is pissed because operating barriers cost them extra money. City is pissed because suddenly they have a load of cars on narrow street nearby. The only ones who won are the sleazy developers.

Another issue is small apartment blocks built in single-family houses quarters. Tiny streets over there can easily take a car or two in front of each house. Then suddenly a 6-apartment building comes up and there're 10 cars in front of a property that'd otherwise have 1 or 2 cars. This happens in rather remote suburbs mind you.

"adopt strategies to create some turnover" is a very polite way of saying fine people and tow their cars, ruining their days and sometimes their lives.

Uh, yeah, it's pretty normal in cities the world over, though. You don't just get to park in front of the fire hydrant or not pay for parking in an area where it's required, or any number of other regulations.

Oh, I'm definitely not advocating for such massive parking lots. Just saying that having little parking lots sucks too. I'm talking about soviet times bloks with parking for 0.2 car/apartment or so.

By the way, over there housing costs climb regardless of little parking required. Apartments in central locations (= walkable/bikable to most offices) cost a shitload of money compared to houses in suburbs. Especially once you step in family-sized market.

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