Using data to inform and reform policies isn’t new. However, in order to analyze data, you need to be able to access the data — even better if it’s already processed and formatted. There’s no unified database for parking minimums in the United States, so we were tasked to build one using automation to speed up the data parsing.
Using GPS breadcrumb data from smartphones, a recent study found that cruising for parking affects nearly 10% of city traffic during peak hours. This is great news, because with better information, we can advocate more successfully for parking reform in our communities.
Areas with concentrations of parking represent areas with concentrations of destinations. By concentrating people instead of cars in these areas, cities can begin to act on climate and housing goals simultaneously. Converting parking lots to housing creates climate resilience by removing asphalt surfaces that contribute to urban heat while also reducing vehicle miles traveled. A portion of these buildings that replace parking lots will have green roofs, which help with onsite water management and, again, reduced urban heat.
We know parking lots take up too much valuable land in our communities. But how much land, exactly? Parking Reform Network researcher Thomas Carpenito wondered how he could find out — and how he could make that data make sense to people. Parking Reform Network: How did you first become interested in parking reform? Thomas
In 2015, Strong Towns led a landmark campaign in the fight to end costly parking mandates by developing a crowdsourced map of cities that have eliminated minimum parking requirements. Circulating far and wide, this map has been an emblem in illustrating where cities have made progress to prioritize people over cars, and inspires other communities