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Visualizing the Enormous Squandered Potential in a Parking Lot

10:51 AM EDT on August 28, 2012

Network blogger Cap'n Transit has been on a roll recently with a string of posts about how walkable development near transit can produce more riders than park-and-rides. It's amazing how much room parking can take up and how little return it provides compared to compact development.

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Here's a pretty striking illustration tool courtesy of the Cap'n: The car-free town of Jakriborg, located around a commuter rail line in Sweden, is home to more than 500 families on 12.5 acres. Compare that with your average park-and-ride lot:

The Small Streets crew imagined replacing part of a park-and-ride with a dense, walkable village like Jakriborg or the Czech town of Tel?. They astutely observe that if you build at Jakriborg densities, you get more riders than if you used the land for a park-and-ride, and these riders all live within walking distance of the station.

Whenever I see a large parking lot near a train station, I think to myself, "How many Jakriborgs is that?" The Metro-North parking lot at Croton-Harmon is 1.3 Jakriborgs, I believe. The parking lot planned for the North Tenafly station on the Northern Branch is 0.68 Jakriborgs.

How many Jakriborgs could fit on the closest paved eyesore in your community?

Elsewhere on the Network today: Systemic Failure announces that another embarrassing video of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has surfaced; this time he's been caught reading while driving. And BTA Blog shares the news that the Portland Bureau of Transportation is changing the way it tracks spending to more accurately capture the benefits for different road users.

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