Pave Paradise and Put Up a 16-Mile Parking Lot—An Inventory of L.A. County Parking

A new study quantifies the amount of space devoted to parking in Los Angeles County—a figure that just begs to be visualized.

1 minute read

January 7, 2016, 2:00 PM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


A recently released study in the Journal of the American Planning Association did an inventory on parking spaces in Los Angeles County—tracking the proliferation of parking across the county between 1900 and 2010. The big headline of the post: 14 percent of incorporated land in Los Angeles County is committed to parking. A stand-alone website for the study provides an abstract, of sorts, for the study, showing heat maps of parking (residential offstreet, non-residential offstreet, and total) around the county at 20 year intervals beginning with 1950.

Blogger Shane Phillips followed on the study to coalesce the data provided by the study into a nifty infographic that drives the point home a little more clearly. Phillips images all of that parking as one large parking crater—16 miles in diameter and taking up an area spanning East L.A. to Santa Monica. In real life, the area inside that parking crater fits 2.3 million residents, 900,000 homes, and 1 million workers, according to Phillips's calculations. 

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