Parking (or Lack Thereof) Drives Choice

In this Climate Watch blog and accompanying "Miles To Go" radio report, the reporter observes how powerful parking rated as a factor in determining whether to drive, walk, or take transit, and the public policies that affect the quantity of parking.

Krissy Clark, the L.A. Bureau Chief for The California Report at KQED, confesses that her "transportation habits have very little to do with how environmentally conscious I am as a person, and have a lot to do with parking spots." She contrasts her lifestyle when she lived in San Francisco to her current travel behavior and recognizes that the abundance of free, convenient parking spots caused her to abandon her "bike, my feet, the bus, BART and the transbay ferries" that formed the core of her trips as a SF resident.

The one exception: "Parking costs too much at LAX, so I take the city shuttle."

"It turns out my different lives in L.A. and San Francisco, and my different parking options, are no accident. They're based on different approaches the places take to parking. According to a RAND study from 2007, in San Francisco there is "a deliberate effort by planners to reduce private vehicle use" which "limits the number of parking spaces that may be included in a new development." In contrast, across most of L.A., developers are required to provide a certain number of parking spaces, "ensuring that parking will remain cheap and abundant and reinforcing auto-dependency."

Clark offers a slightly different angle on the same issue on her accompanying Miles To Go radio report, The Carrot and the Stick.

Thanks to California League of Conservation Voters

Full Story: Blame My Driving Habits on that Parking Spot


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