Dallas Needs More/Less Parking

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Dallas Needs More/Less Parking

Dallas has the same problems as many other big cities: too much parking and too little parking. According to D Magazine, there are 69,000 parking spots in Dallas, and some people think there should be more. But research from the State Smart Transportation Initiative in Madison, Wisconsin, and the University of Connecticut, suggests that it is limited parking, not plentiful parking, that makes a city successful.

D Magazine’s opinion writer, Peter Simek, says the city’s parking and driving culture don’t currently support that research.

Dallas begins with the assumption that everyone has to drive everywhere because this is Dallas, and as a result we cater to a market that will always be hungry for more available parking.

Every city has its reality, regardless of the true need for more parking or less parking. New York City has a comprehensive public transit system, so it’s easy to emphasize that convenience over creating parking spaces. Washington D.C., while completely landlocked, is also working on the “less is more” approach. Dallas is neither landlocked nor in possession of adequate public transportation, so the argument is more complicated. There is room for more parking and there are cars to put in those spaces whose owners don’t have other options for transportation. Simek suggests it’s a matter of attitude.

We have to accept that limiting park is a good thing, that it can increase economic viability, and that it is the only way to break the cycle of cause and effect that drives Dallas’ persistently car-centric approach to urban revitalization.

Asking Texans to give up their “car-centric” approach is a brave and interesting tactic. What seems more concrete to me would be addressing the convenience and location of current parking resources. Maybe there is some rearranging that would solve the problem. Maybe they have exactly what they need already

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John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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