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Could the Next Round of Transportation Innovations Finally End the Parking Status Quo?

If self-driving cars means more sharing and less car ownership, we may finally lose our appetite for parking, even in the motor city.
May 9, 2017, 6am PDT | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Train Station
Parking seems like the main attraction at this Highland Park, Illinois rail station.
Michael Heimlich

John Gallagher of The Detroit Free Press argues that the city of Detroit and its suburbs has been "disfigured" by parking lots, but he hopes that changes in technology and the city could alter that. "Most proponents of autonomous vehicles predict we’ll need a lot fewer parking spaces in the future because driverless cars will not need to park at all, except at night," Gallagher writes. He hopes that many people would share a single driverless car and rather than sitting idle, taking up space on a lot, shared cars would replace several cars by driving around picking up multiple people and running them to and from wherever they need to go.

Still, Gallagher writes, ride hailing services and the expansion of public transit has not yet saved Detroit from parking lot fever. "If anything, recent trends have pushed up — rather than reduced — demand for parking in Detroit and in suburban downtowns such as Birmingham and Ferndale," Gallagher reports.

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Published on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 in Detroit Free Press
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