I came across an interesting statistic the other day. A public radio Marketplace episode cited 2/3rds of all garages aren’t used to store cars. Searching the web for more details I found it’s estimated that 70-80% of Seattle’s garages are used only for non-car storage, and a 2001 UCLA study found that “Only 25 percent of garages could be used to store cars because they were so packed with stuff.” This was a small but detailed study, and I’d love to find better data.
This brings up a few land use points:
1. Why are we requiring new residential homes to build parking? Not only does this make housing significantly more expensive, we’re likely wasting most of this money.
2. I wonder how elastic street parking is. My guess is very elastic. Our streets are all lined with cars parked for free on the street. How many of these cars would be moved into garages if parking was difficult or expensive enough?
3. Man we have an addiction to stuff. I’ve stayed with people in Indonesia and India that had very little, yet seemed very happy. What is it about our culture that requires so much clothes, toys, and knicknacks.