What is Black Friday parking?
#BlackFridayParking is a nationwide event drawing attention to the harmful nature of minimum parking requirements which create a barrier for new local businesses and fill up our cities with empty parking spaces that don’t add value to our places.
Each year on Black Friday, one of the biggest shopping days of the year, people all across North America will snap photos of the (hardly full) parking lots in their communities to demonstrate how unnecessary these massive lots are. Participants upload those photos to social media with the hashtag #blackfridayparking.
For years, we’ve been told that big box parking lots need to be large enough to accommodate peak parking demand. Yet even on the biggest shopping day of the year, I found oceans of empty asphalt.
Today we're featuring an excellent piece diving into parking from one of the newest additions to our member blogroll, a blog from Craig Lewis in Charlotte.
As part of Strong Towns's Black Friday Parking event, I roused myself out of my warm house this morning after Thanksgiving--traditionally the start of the holiday shopping season, and possibly the biggest shopping day of the year--to go study parking lots.
We’re told that Black Friday is the “biggest shopping day of the year”—yet parking lots across the country tell a different story. Last year, I set out to explore #BlackFridayParking at commercial shopping centers across Tulsa to see for myself.
Our third annual #BlackFridayParking event was a resounding success! You posted from dozens of states and shared hundreds of photos on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
"I'm out to save the world, one parking space at a time."
We hope many of you are spurred to action during this week of #BlackFridayParking. One of the ways to get your voice heard is through your local paper. Here are some tips to help get started.
What happens when you get rid of minimum parking requirements in a downtown district while also adding 4,500 people to the downtown?
Charge the right price for parking at the curb, use that money to make ongoing improvements to the quality of life on that street and rid yourselves of off-street parking requirements.
Here are some excerpts from municipal codes that demonstrate different ways to remove or decrease parking minimums. We hope these are helpful examples.
John Anderson explains why parking minimums exist and what's wrong with them.
These maps illustrate the way parking lots deplete your town's tax base and alter your landscape to detrimental effect.
Decatur, GA removes parking minimums for commercial buildings, and increases bike access in the process.
Chuck Marohn interviews Donald Shoup, Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. His book, The High Cost of Free Parking, and his extensive research into the effects of parking on cities have made him a prominent voice on these topics.
How Can I participate?
- Tell your friends about this event via social media. Share a link to a Strong Towns article so they can learn more.
- On November 25, 2016 get outside and take pictures of the parking lots in your town.
- Upload your photos to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #blackfridayparking. Bonus points if you include the location and estimate how full the lot is. (Turning on location services will also greatly aid us in mapping out these posts all over the country.)
- Visit our website on November 25 to view other peoples' photos from across the country.