Re: The world’s greatest neighborhoods

February 11, 2008 at 8:24 pm 2 comments

I’m always telling people that the world’s greatest neighborhoods are terrible places to park, and it’s no coincidence. … Part of the reason you don’t see much parking in back, of course, is that if this is a successful urban neighborhood, someone is going to come along with a more valuable use for that land than parking….

(G)ood pedestrian environments are places where it’s somewhat hard to drive — not, ideally, by design, but by happy side effect: you’ve built an environment so popular to enjoy on foot that, gosh darnit, there isn’t enough room left to park all those cars, and you have to drive slowly because of all the jaywalkers.

— From a comment by Matthew Amster-Burton on the City Comforts blog


Entry filed under: Advice, Jon Swerens, Neighborhoods, Urbanism. Tags: .

Downtown design guidelines: Never implemented? Pedestrians and one-way streets


  • 1. mark garvin  |  February 14, 2008 at 10:52 am

    A very astute observation. I spent 45 minutes finding a spot, walked 10 minutes from the spot, and paid 25$ in parking fines, to attend a small celebration at a popular Georgetown (DC) restaurant.

    But Georgetown is undeniably great and I’d do it again, hopefully without the parking ticket.

  • 2. Kevin  |  February 14, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    I’ve been thinking this for a while, but this person says it better than I can. People don’t visit areas to be immersed in the plentiful cheap parking. A big pet peeve of mine is when people complain that there isn’t enough parking in Broad Ripple or Mass Ave downtown. If there was enough parking, then you wouldn’t wanna go there! A walk of a few blocks is not going to hurt, and it may help most as we have a high obesity rate.


But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. Jeremiah 29:7

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