Critics of the nearly 10,000 dockless bicycles scattered around the city decry the amount of space that they take up in public sidewalks and other places. A new analysis by the Research Institute for Housing America suggests if folks want to target the real space hogs, they need look no further than cars.
The institute analyzed the amount of spaces in street and off-street parking for five cities, including Seattle. The group found that the city has 5.2 parking spaces per household, or 1.6 million parking spaces. Put another way, there are more than twice as many parking spaces per acre than people.
New York City, a metropolis with 12 times the number of residents, has only 250,000 more parking stalls.
Side-by-side maps show that parking density is far higher than housing density. The main concentration of housing is in and around the downtown core, according to the study, whereas large concentrations of parking stalls can be found throughout the city.
This dedication of space comes at a cost — the 1.6 million parking spaces are worth approximately $35.8 billion, according to the report.
This in a city with declining car ownership and a stark housing shortage. The result: Up to half of parking spaces in some areas are empty during peak parking hours.
Ashley Archibald is a Staff Reporter covering local government, policy and equity. Have a story idea? She can be can reached at ashleya (at) realchangenews (dot) org. Follow Ashley on Twitter @AshleyA_RC
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