The Best of #BlackFridayParking 2018

If you didn’t notice, Strong Towns has gone pretty heavy on parking-related content in the past week. That’s because every year on the Friday after Thanksgiving, the busiest shopping day of the year rolls around. That day is the excuse cited by every municipal official and retail developer for mandating and building—respectively—far too many parking spaces. “We’re gonna need all that parking on Black Friday.”

Of course, they rarely do. And all the excess parking is a drain on our cities’ vitality, on their walkability, and on their budgets. So every year, we highlight the tremendous opportunity cost represented by underused parking lots and minimum parking requirements.

Here’s some of the highlights from this year if you missed them.

Parking Minimums: Still a Bad Idea

It's 2018. Does your city still have minimum parking requirements? If you don’t know the answer to that question, read this article to get up to speed on why parking minimums are such a senseless and destructive policy.

And then check out our interactive map of the cities that have successfully removed them, or are making progress toward doing so.

Our Guide to Changing the Conversation About Parking in Your Community

  1. The Many Costs of Too Much Parking

    Requiring excessive parking comes at a heavy cost to the vitality and financial resilience of our cities.. Have you ever wanted a one-stop list of the many ways this is the case? We did too. So we made one.

  2. A Guide to Busting Parking Myths in Your Town

    “There’s no parking around there!” How to hit the streets and collect the data yourself, and figure out whether your neighborhood actually has a parking shortage—or, more likely, an excess.

  3. How to Talk to a Skeptic About Reducing Parking Requirements

    If you have an objection on the tip of your tongue when it comes to removing parking minimums or providing less free parking, let’s see if we can help you answer it.

When Your School District Wants to Destroy Your Neighborhood For a Parking Lot…

Our president and founder, Chuck Marohn, provided an update on an ongoing controversy in his hometown of Brainerd, MN, where the school district’s parking plans would do irreparable harm to an intact urban neighborhood for the sake of suburban and rural commuters—based on a misguided understanding of “safety.”

And Finally… the Best of #BlackFridayParking on Social Media

Here’s a sampling of just a few of the dozens of posts we saw highlighting the absurdity that is the state of parking in the U.S. in 2018. Enjoy:

Illustrating How Much Space We Actually Devote to Parking

Finally, calling special attention to this fantastic series of tweets from Victor Dover of the famed New Urbanist planning and design firm @DoverKohl. Dover did a quick color overlay on some photos of U.S. cities to show us, in a striking way, the opportunity cost of building too much parking. Let your imagination run wild: what else could those shaded areas be?