Free Parking Isn’t Green – Yeah, Right


Free Parking Isn’t Green – Yeah, Right

An article published over at The Good Men Project by Joe Cortright and my buddy Tony Jordan lambasts the (get this) The National Renewable Energy Lab for building a LEED Certified “green” garage because it is too big. It has all the ‘green’ credentials including solar panels and the rest, but it isn’t green because of its very existence. You can check it out on

Seems Joe and Tony feel that having a garage encourages people to drive and therefore pollute the planet with their gas guzzling vehicles. This garage has 1500 spaces to support a building housing 1200 people. It doesn’t say whether the NREL is expanding and perhaps could house more than 1500 but who cares, it’s a garage. And, its located in a suburban location where people, darn it, will be forced to drive to get to work.

Damn those planners at NREL. They could have built in downtown Denver where there are plenty of apartments for their 1200 employees and their families. Just where everyone wants to be, in the central city. My guess is NREL built where it did because that’s where their employees live.

Joe and Tony, however feel that people should be forced to live in dense cities. To wit:

That’s the problem, really.  We have an abundance of proven technologies that are “high-performance, low-emission, energy-saving strategies”–they include dense cities, cycling, transit, walking and car pooling.  But technologies don’t work, or don’t work well if we subsidize people to use energy-wasting alternatives and locate large concentrations of workers in places where they have few alternatives but to drive single-occupancy vehicles.

First of all, dense cities are required if you want walking, cycling and transit. I guess that’s where we are going. I assume Joe and Tony never heard of incentivizing car pooling if the company is so ‘green’ and the employees want it. They could still park for free but if they car pooled they could park close in, maybe get a few bucks bonus, who knows.

The first mistake NREL made was locating where it did (over 370 acres) I’m sure there’s plenty of open space in dense central cities. Then it built a garage. Who do they think they are?

Come on, Tony, aren’t there enough places to attack without attacking the very company that is attempting to promote green energy?  The irony of it all.


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John Van Horn

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