Wider Than Necessary: On-Street Parking in Residential Areas
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Residential streets in the United States serve a variety of uses. First and foremost, they provide access to homes alongside the street. Within the roadway, a large amount of space is given to the parking of automobiles. In a typical 34-foot curb-to-curb roadway, parking constitutes 14 linear feet (41 percent) of the paved space. Is the storage of private automobiles the best use for our public space? To answer that question, this research examines the demand and use of on-street parking in three typical, but different, single-family residential areas in Eugene, Oregon. Results show a surplus in on-street parking given demand. Further, off-street parking supplies also outstrip demand. Cities like Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington have completed pilot programs to redesign residential streets, and those examples are presented and analyzed for their applicability to the parking surplus issue.