We’ve walked past them off Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, on Market Street in Philadelphia, on Washington Street in Boston just one block from the Common. They edge crowded sidewalks beneath skyscrapers and atop subway stations. They cover some of the most valuable real estate in the nation, in apparent contradiction of the natural laws of development. They are surface parking lots. In most American downtowns they are so widespread that the voided lot, not the solid building, is the base condition. They are constructions of essential minimums: A sheet of asphalt, an attendant’s booth, floodlights for nighttime. Nothing more than what is required to store cars and collect money.
This essay and review is written by Rhode Island resident Ian Baldwin and references our Parking Crisis map. It is a good, somewhat lengthy read on parking at a review of Eran Ben-Joseph ReThinking a Lot: The Design and Culture of Parking. Worth a read.