Get Your Camera Ready for Empty #BlackFridayParking Lots

If you’re out shopping on Black Friday, keep your cell phone camera close at hand. Strong Towns is continuing its annual tradition of #BlackFridayParking — capturing photos of half-empty parking lots on America’s high holy day for retail.

The exercise illustrates how ridiculous and wasteful our parking policies are. Many communities require retailers to construct and maintain parking lots large enough to house every shopper on the busiest shopping day of the year. And then even on a day like Black Friday (technically the second-busiest day of the year), many spaces remain unfilled.

Imagine if this space could be repurposed for something more productive.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Get Your Cameras Ready for Half-Empty Black Friday Parking Lots

|
It’s standard practice to build parking lots to accommodate the maximum number of vehicles expected on the busiest shopping day of the year. As a result, acres and acres of unnecessary asphalt make communities less walkable, waste land, funnel polluted runoff into our groundwater, erode tax bases, and drive up prices for lots of other […]

The Spectacular Waste of Half-Empty Black Friday Parking Lots

|
If there’s one thing American planners fear, it’s that someone, sometime, somewhere, won’t be able to immediately find a parking space. Gigantic manuals have been devoted to avoiding this “problem,” and laws have been passed in nearly every community in the nation to ensure that no one ever lacks for parking. Chuck Marohn at Strong […]

Scenes of Half-Empty Parking Lots on the Busiest Shopping Day of the Year

|
America’s enormous, land-devouring parking lots are largely the result of pseudoscientific engineering conventions and the regulations that reflect them. These laws — parking minimums — often require retailers to build enough spaces to accommodate every anticipated automobile on the busiest shopping day of the year, explains Chuck Marohn at Strong Towns: For years, American cities […]

How Parking Requirements Help Walmart and Hurt Small Businesses

|
On Black Friday, Chuck Marohn of Strong Towns asked his Twitter followers to take pictures of parking lots on one of the busiest shopping days of the year. The evidence they returned was pretty damning: Retailers like Walmart, Kohl’s, and Target — some compelled by mandatory parking minimums — provide way more parking than shoppers will ever […]

Shoup to O’Toole: The Market for Parking Is Anything But Free

|
We’re reprinting this reply [PDF] from UCLA professor Donald Shoup, author of the High Cost of Free Parking, to Randal O’Toole, the libertarian Cato Institute senior fellow who refuses to acknowledge the role of massive government intervention in the market for parking, and the effect this has had on America’s car dependence. It’s an excellent […]