The blog post cites research from the University of Connecticut analyzing a dozen historically dense small cities in which the share of residents driving to work ranges from 43 to 91 percent. Comparing the rates of auto use to the number of residents and employees per square mile, the study found that cities with higher rates of driving have fewer people — because cars take up so much space.

The study also found that cities with higher rates of auto use devoted about twice as much land to parking for each resident and employee, and noted that as the cities with the least parking — Berkeley in California, Arlington in Virginia, and Cambridge in Massachusetts — cut back on the number of surface lots the number of people and jobs increased, as did incomes . . .

The authors conclude that " . . . cities might be able to guarantee a parking space in front of every destination . . . but they are likely doing so at the expense of those things that cities really need — namely people."

Read more. 


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