Parking Rightsizing

The next time merchants in your downtown demand another parking garage because of the parking “shortfall” you can recommend a radically simple solution: Shrink the size of the parking stall.

Whereas the size of a standard American parallel-parking spot is 23 to 24′ long, in the UK it is more like 20′. In France (and much of continental Europe) it is 18′.

Just imagine if the parking spots in crowded downtown areas were reduced by 6′ — that increases parking utilization by a whopping 25%.

Oh, but what about the poor SUV drivers who can’t fit their Lincoln Navigator into an 18′ stall? Well, so what? Why should cities reduce their parking supply by 1/4 to accommodate oversized SUV’s? And in any case, anyone who can afford to gas up an SUV can pay to park their vehicle in an offstreet garage.