Parking Non-Problem 2: “How to respond when someone complains ‘There’s no parking.'”


It’s been a couple of years since Jeff G mapped New Albany’s parking supply (the photo above). Mapping is one of four responses to complaints of “there’s no parking,” as suggested by Nathaniel Hood, a transportation planner and blogger living in St. Paul who writes for Strong Towns and Streets.MN.

In Parking Non-Problem 1, there is a link to a City Lab article introducing Hood and his photos of wide open spaces where parking shortages are alleged to exist. In the following, Hood’s points are truncated, so please click through and read the entire article.

How to respond when someone complains ‘There’s no parking’, by Nathaniel Hood (Star Tribune)

OMG! There is NO parking!” – Concerned Citizen

I wish I had a bus ticket for every time I heard someone say this. Unless you’re Manhattan or San Francisco, it is fair to say you don’t have a parking problem. I take that back. You do have a parking problem — there’s too much of it.

Here is a quick how-to guide on dealing with those who claim your city or town lacks adequate parking.

Step 1. Understand perception … The easiest and most time-effective way of convincing your opposition is to have them acknowledge that the perception of parking availability is different than the reality.

Step 2. Map parking supply … Load up Google Maps in your favorite web browser, search for your local area, and do a screen capture. Paste the image into MS Paint or a similar program. Start highlighting the open surface parking lots and parking garage structures. I recommend downloading Google Earth for this task.

Step 3. Document unused supply … Walk around your selected area during normal conditions and take photos. And by normal conditions, I mean you shouldn’t document supply during a Rolling Stones concert, nor should you snap photos at 4 a.m. on Monday morning.

Step 4. Use yourself as a case study … Do it yourself advocacy is as simple as parking. I recommend getting a cheap dashboard camera (or mounting your phone) and recording yourself trying to park. I did this and here are the results on YouTube. I called it a challenge. It was anything but. As expected, parking was simple.