A Compelling Case For Eliminating Parking Spaces?

We never thought that the day would come when we would say that eliminating parking spaces in the City makes sense, but writer Kevin Frazier makes a pretty compelling case for it in the most recent issue of the Marina Times.

He focuses on the Marina, and presents a lot of astonishing numbers that may in fact suggest that parking spaces might become a thing of the past, at least in that neighborhood.

Here are some excerpts:

“Marina residents — increasingly less reliant on cars for transportation — may soon not need a place to park a car (assuming they even own one). In 2011, 51.6 percent of Marina residents drove to work (44.2 percent drove alone, the rest carpooled). With the proliferation of ride sharing, scooter-grabbing, and public transit awareness, just under 41 percent of workers used a car to get to work in 2016 (33 percent drove alone). In the same year, 35 percent of the city’s workers drove alone and 7.2 percent carpooled, bringing the total to 42.2 percent citywide.”

“Other Marina workers simply forgo commuting at all. The percentage of people working from home climbed from 9.8 percent of workers to 10.8 percent from 2015 to 2016. What’s more, economists generally forecast that working from home will become available to more workers as video-chatting and file-sharing expands into new sectors.”

“Another shift in demand for parking: tourists opting to ride-share, scoot, or cycle instead of renting a car. Lime and other multimodal transit companies have quickly discovered tourists’ travel preferences and moved them away from rental cars. Hertz and others have closed hundreds of shops in recent years in response to tourists finding new options more affordable and efficient. Accordingly, the city has seen a significant increase in the supply of alternate modes of transportation that don’t require conventional parking places.”

“A final factor threatening the prevalence of parking spots: the majority of Marina residents don’t own a car. Less than 30 percent of San Francisco households in 2016 owned a car, a 4 percent decline from the year before. Car-less households may soon tire of effectively subsidizing parking and the negative externalities it creates. Consider that surface parking spots cost $5,000 to $10,000 to construct; even more staggering, structured parking spots tally to $25,000 to $50,000 per spot.”

Pretty compelling, right? To read the entire piece, please click here.

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