Counting The Nation's Parking Spaces

<p>The Purdue University researcher who revealed that there is more than three times more parking than drivers in one county in Indiana is looking to expand his count to the entire nation.</p>
September 25, 2007, 10am PDT | Nate Berg
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"They say it's not worth the sprawl, polluted runoff, and heat generated by these vast lots of concrete and asphalt just to create more automotive resting stations by the Home Depot entrance or the Wal-Mart shopping-cart corral. Anyone who has circled and recircled an airport garage searching for an open spot might beg to differ. But a key problem is that no one really knows how much blacktop real estate is out there."

"Enter Bryan Pijanowski, a land-use scientist at Purdue University, who is busy counting the nation's parking spaces."

"He hasn't gotten very far yet. Using sophisticated software, he and fellow researcher Amalie Davis count 355,000 off-street, nonresidential parking spaces in his home county of Tippecanoe in Indiana. Even that is an estimate based on aerial photos. Now, Dr. Pijanowski wants to expand his survey nationwide."

"If Pijanowski can finish his count, then researchers will finally determine whether the United States is suffering a parking surplus."

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Published on Monday, September 24, 2007 in The Christian Science Monitor
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