“Most people in transportation focus on the five percent of the time that cars are moving. But the average car is parked 95 percent of the time. I think there’s a lot to learn from that 95 percent.”Donald Shoup when asked why he studies parking.
First, I have confirmed that Shoup’s estimate of 95% does seem widely applicable. Across the world cars seem to be parked at least 92% of the time and typically about 96% of the time, according to the 1995 data mentioned above. I doubt more up to date or accurate data sets would change this number much.
But why should we care?
One reason to talk about this is to highlight the importance of parking. It is what cars do the vast majority of the time.
It highlights a crucial inefficiency of mass private car ownership. It points towards huge parking space savings (an enormous land bank) that shifts away from mass car ownership might open up, if only we could massively improve the alternatives including making car-sharing and other ‘metered access to shared cars’ (MASC) more of a mass market phenomenon.
“(…) certain ideas from Jane Jacobs´writings such as “eyes on the street”, “the four generators of urban diversity”, “togetherness”, “sidewalk ballet” or “organised complexity” have influenced theory and practice of urban design and placemaking all these decades and are gaining (even) more attention in these days in which cities struggle to find solutions to the new challenges derived from financial constraints and social discontent.”—The urban wisdom of Jane Jacobs (via humanscalecities)