Three Spaces per Car Continued


Three Spaces per Car Continued

Don Shoup has a few comments on my blog post below – go here for the links.

My comment was directed at the statement by Peter that this three spaces per car was what the planning community felt was a “requirement.” I’m sure that Peter is right in quoting Dr. Goodwin in the UK. However I’m not certain that Dr Goodwin would be “highly respected” if he claims that three spaces are “required” or needed. I would hope that his reputation rested on only that they exist, as proven by the links provided by Don above.

My comments go more to the logic behind the requirements. Note that Don’s sources found that there were three spaces per car, not including on street or home garages OR structured garages. These existed because the planning codes required the parking, not because they were “necessary”.

Logic simply says that three spaces per car is at least one too many. Period. Research seems to confirm that.

As for the claim that cars are parked 95% of the time, I would look at my wife as typical. She commutes one hour each way per day. That’s about 8.3% of the time driving, not counting shopping and the like on weekends. So, assuming she’s typical, some more, some less, the 95% would be accurate. Though I’m not sure what that means. Either we are driving too much, not enough, or like Goldilocks, just right.

Of course Don Shoup doesn’t really care much about driving; he rides a bike and lives about two or three miles from his work. My commute, on the other hand, is 10 seconds assuming I don’t trip over the dog or stub my toe.

Eat your commuting hearts out.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

One Response

  1. Oops, you were not listening after all!!! No one was claiming three spaces per car as a pre-requisite least of all Phil Goodwin who is very far from an advocate for car use. I said, or intended to say, that this was “observed” i.e. that when one attempted to estimate how many parking spaces there actually were it turned out to be about 3 per metal box. Obviously it follows that if this is what has happened themn for the future by constraining spaces (at home to create car free communities, we have tried this here with limited success)(at work to encourage mass transit use for the journey to work) (elsewhere to reduce car dependence generally) then one has a powerful transport policy tool. Unfortunately here we have recognised this for most of my working life but been too scared to use it until recently.

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