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Old 03-13-2014, 09:17 PM
 
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Yards aren't what takes up most of the space in a suburb--it's parking spaces and roads that eat up the room. Your average power center takes up a huge amount of space and can be fully "developed" but have basically zero population density because it's all space taken up by retail stores surrounded by seas of parking, big enough to hold every car they expect to show up on Black Friday, plus a few spaces. There are something like 8 parking spaces in this country for every car, because in a car-centric community, everywhere you go has to have a parking lot or people can't go there (or, at least, a drive-through.)
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Old 03-13-2014, 09:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
Yards aren't what takes up most of the space in a suburb--it's parking spaces and roads that eat up the room.
Citation needed.
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Old 03-14-2014, 12:14 AM
 
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Here you go: No Such Thing As Free Parking | Inside Science

And here's the study cited in the article. I think the last time I read it was about the same time it came out, 8 spaces per car is the worst-case scenario, but I figure people here use worst-case scenarios as a baseline.

http://chester.faculty.asu.edu/libra...39_parking.pdf
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Old 03-14-2014, 05:25 AM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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That doesn't mean yards don't take more space. Power centers are large but most of a suburb isn't made of power centers. Check a satellite view of the power center I posted for walkability; the majority of land use is residential yards. If it weren't lot size differences wouldn't cause a big change in density. But they do.
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Old 03-14-2014, 07:48 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 24 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
Here you go: No Such Thing As Free Parking | Inside Science

And here's the study cited in the article. I think the last time I read it was about the same time it came out, 8 spaces per car is the worst-case scenario, but I figure people here use worst-case scenarios as a baseline.

http://chester.faculty.asu.edu/libra...39_parking.pdf
I haven't read the whole thing yet, but even if parking does take up a great deal of space, that doesn't necessarily mean it takes up more space than yards, especially in a place where lots are as big as they are in Boston and Pittsburgh.
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Old 03-14-2014, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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I would think most of those parking spots are in residential areas though, add together garages, driveways and on-street parking and most neighbourhoods would have at least 3 per lot, more typically 4-6, or even more if the lots are very large.

Residential

Relatively small lot suburb:
https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.46835...mPQnu7uCAA!2e0
One spot on-street, two in the driveway (maybe a third between the sidewalk and street parked sideways?), definitely at least one in the garage, but maybe you could squeeze two if you have small cars.

These suburban townhouses might have just 3 per unit, 1 in the garage, usually 1 in the driveway, but maybe you could squeeze a third onto the walkway (if you have one) or squeeze 3 side by side on a share driveway, and you can fit 2 on the driveways on the side of the street without sidewalks. The side setback between the sets of 6-8 townhouses also allow for 1 on street space, plus you might have a few on-street spaces at the sides of the townhouses where there's no curb cuts.
https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.47221...plAwCYYUew!2e0

Large lot suburb, you might be able to fit 8 cars on the driveway alone for some of these homes, and even the smallest driveways would fit at least 4 cars, plus 2-3 in garages and 2-3 on-street means 8-14 per home.
https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.4521,...fvHB9ZLv7g!2e0

Pre-WWII neighbourhood, one spot in the backyard garage (potentially), 3-4 in the driveway, 1-2 on street.
https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.45168...6Kv_X-KAZw!2e0

Even in Toronto's row house neighbourhoods, you could get around 1.5-3 with back alley garages and on-street parking, and I think that kind of housing makes up a relatively small portion of the total in Canada and in the United States. Maybe 5-10% of the total. High density urban multifamily will have relatively little parking too. But suburbs on 1/3 acre or more are probably common enough to make up for it with their abundance of potential parking.

I think a relatively average suburb might have around 8 spots (and 2 cars) per home?

Non residential
Then you'd have 1 per job at workplaces, maybe a bit more for business visitors to the workplace, plus unused on-street parking. The malls around here might have around 1/3 of their spots filled from 10am-6pm (much less at night of course) on an average day (not including employee parking at 1.5 per job). If the average car owner spends 1/2 hour per day shopping, mostly in the 10am-6pm window, that's still only about 0.2 spots per car for retail. So around 8+1.5+1.5+0.2 = 11.2 spots for 2 cars (5.1 per car). And those 3 spots in retail/workplaces is only about 1000 sf (assuming they're all surface), compared to an average lot size of maybe 10,000 sf in the average suburb, not to mention roads, commercial, industrial and public/civic buildings and parks.

My estimates above basically assume that everyone lives in an auto centric single family home suburb where every working adult is assumed to drive everywhere and parking is provided accordingly, and then some... and still it doesn't get to 8 spots per car.

The fact that 8 spots per car is mentioned in a study doesn't make it anymore credible. The study just mentions that that's a commonly mentioned estimate by planners but doesn't explain where the number came from.

Last edited by memph; 03-14-2014 at 09:07 AM..
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Old 03-14-2014, 01:08 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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A community of 30,000 and an average household size of 3 / household [roughly the Long Island average] and an average lot size of 1/4 acre [assuming entirely detached homes] would take up 2500 acres in just the lots (which would be mostly yard — a house footprint might be 1000 square feet or so, assuming a two story house, a driveway would be even smaller). That's about 7680 people per square mile with no roads, shops or anything else. As for how much space shops and roads would take, not sure but I think 1/4 acre suburbia is usually half that density. That doesn't mean all that extra space went into roads and parking, so might be open space and undeveloped land. Yards definitely aren't a minor part of the space.

For larger lots, yards are definitely the biggest use of space. Small enough, it might be possible that roads and parking could be the majority of space.
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Old 03-14-2014, 01:11 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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What explains this difference:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Copen...74.95,,0,-7.51

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Copen...41.95,,0,-1.62

Suburban Copenhagen is not like suburban Madrid:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Madri...80.97,,0,-9.44

go far enough out and you get row houses, but much of it is still apartment buildings:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Madri...122.87,,0,4.87
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Old 03-14-2014, 01:33 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 24 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
I would think most of those parking spots are in residential areas though, add together garages, driveways and on-street parking and most neighbourhoods would have at least 3 per lot, more typically 4-6, or even more if the lots are very large.

Residential

Relatively small lot suburb:
https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.46835...mPQnu7uCAA!2e0
One spot on-street, two in the driveway (maybe a third between the sidewalk and street parked sideways?), definitely at least one in the garage, but maybe you could squeeze two if you have small cars.

These suburban townhouses might have just 3 per unit, 1 in the garage, usually 1 in the driveway, but maybe you could squeeze a third onto the walkway (if you have one) or squeeze 3 side by side on a share driveway, and you can fit 2 on the driveways on the side of the street without sidewalks. The side setback between the sets of 6-8 townhouses also allow for 1 on street space, plus you might have a few on-street spaces at the sides of the townhouses where there's no curb cuts.
https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.47221...plAwCYYUew!2e0

Large lot suburb, you might be able to fit 8 cars on the driveway alone for some of these homes, and even the smallest driveways would fit at least 4 cars, plus 2-3 in garages and 2-3 on-street means 8-14 per home.
https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.4521,...fvHB9ZLv7g!2e0

Pre-WWII neighbourhood, one spot in the backyard garage (potentially), 3-4 in the driveway, 1-2 on street.
https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.45168...6Kv_X-KAZw!2e0

Even in Toronto's row house neighbourhoods, you could get around 1.5-3 with back alley garages and on-street parking, and I think that kind of housing makes up a relatively small portion of the total in Canada and in the United States. Maybe 5-10% of the total. High density urban multifamily will have relatively little parking too. But suburbs on 1/3 acre or more are probably common enough to make up for it with their abundance of potential parking.

I think a relatively average suburb might have around 8 spots (and 2 cars) per home?

Non residential
Then you'd have 1 per job at workplaces, maybe a bit more for business visitors to the workplace, plus unused on-street parking. The malls around here might have around 1/3 of their spots filled from 10am-6pm (much less at night of course) on an average day (not including employee parking at 1.5 per job). If the average car owner spends 1/2 hour per day shopping, mostly in the 10am-6pm window, that's still only about 0.2 spots per car for retail. So around 8+1.5+1.5+0.2 = 11.2 spots for 2 cars (5.1 per car). And those 3 spots in retail/workplaces is only about 1000 sf (assuming they're all surface), compared to an average lot size of maybe 10,000 sf in the average suburb, not to mention roads, commercial, industrial and public/civic buildings and parks.

My estimates above basically assume that everyone lives in an auto centric single family home suburb where every working adult is assumed to drive everywhere and parking is provided accordingly, and then some... and still it doesn't get to 8 spots per car.

The fact that 8 spots per car is mentioned in a study doesn't make it anymore credible. The study just mentions that that's a commonly mentioned estimate by planners but doesn't explain where the number came from.
I posit that adding in on-street parking is disingenuous. It's for everybody. It's for your guests, the neighbor's guests, the delivery trucks, the workpeople who come to fix your refrigerator, the cop who comes to arrest you, everyone. Some subdivisions are built on curvy cul-de-sacs that don't have much room for on-street parking, no more than one car per house. The burbs are tightly built here in CO, there's not much room for on-street parking even on a straight street, maybe two cars per house, max. On my suburban street which I just drove down, there are few cars parked on-street. One neighbor has some old beater truck that's always on the street, and two cars in his driveway, which makes me think he's got too much crap in his garage to put the cars.

My driveway can only fit two cars. Sure, I've seen houses in upstate NY with 1/4 mile driveways, but those weren't built specifically to hold cars; I mean, my Goodness, how many guests can you have at one time.

The average car owner hardly spends 1/2 day, every day, shopping. Many of them are working; the car is at work for 9-10 hrs, maybe with a little time off for lunch. A stay-at-home mom might go out for a couple hours of errands 2-3 times a week, maybe some short errand every day just to get out of the house.
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Old 03-14-2014, 01:37 PM
 
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8 spaces per car was a worst-case scenario, it doesn't seem unreasonable to me considering how many places people have to park their cars. I live in a central-city area with a population of 30,000 people, but there are about 100,000 parking spaces, including parking structures, private lots, and on-street parking; and we're a high-density neighborhood where most of the residents don't have driveways or garages.

People forget that suburbs aren't islands unto themselves--if you're including all the parking spaces and space in the country, you also have to count all the other places where the folks driving from the suburbs park their cars--even though they don't like to and gripe about paying for it, they do park downtown, which is why so many downtowns have to devote so much space to parking space.
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