NYC Could Do So Much More With the Space We Let Parking Consume

Let this Streetopia promo from Clarence Eckerson get you in the mood to topple the status quo of free parking hogging space on every block.

streetopia parking

For a city where space is supposedly a precious resource, New York gives away a shocking amount of square footage to car parking. There are around four million surface parking spaces in the city — and almost all of them are free. Despite some recent tinkering on the margins, New York City zoning also mandates parking for most new development in most of the city. All that parking is generating traffic and hogging space that could be used for walking, biking, transit, and housing.

While global peers like Mexico City enact reforms to tackle the problem of excessive parking, New York is still taking steps backward on parking policy, like Mayor de Blasio’s recent addition of 50,000 parking placards. NYC needs to do better. If we want extensive car-free zones, safe streets for biking, and surface transit that moves quickly and reliably, we need to cut down on parking.

As part of the recently-launched Streetopia campaign, Clarence put together this short overview of how cities including Zurich, Tokyo, and Olso are removing parking to curb traffic and improve other forms of transportation. Watch it and share far and wide:

  • HamTech87

    Was that image of a car-free street at 0:25 Montreal?

  • Vooch

    insane idea, sure to fail.

    Those European examples are merely flash in the pan trials which will be undo as soon as economic actiivity stops without parking.

    We can pity those impoverished europeans and japanese who are all too poor to drive. Thank the lord our forefathers escaped

    cars are everything. Cars are life. without parking we would quickly return to caveman living.

    NYC streets were originally built for cars. we should be adding motor lanes and parking. Much of Bryant Park could be converted for parking.

  • AMH

    Looks like the Place des Arts


On a Manhattan avenue where transit and high-occupancy vehicles take precedence and the curb is reserved for deliveries, large amounts of street space can be claimed for walking and biking. Image: Street Plans Collaborative

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