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Houston is estimated to have 30 parking spaces for every resident

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Americans Shouldn’t Have to Drive, but the Law Insists on It


In large part because of parking quotas, parking lots now cover more than a third of the land area of some U.S. cities; Houston is estimated to have 30 parking spaces for every resident. As the UCLA urban-planning professor Donald Shoup has written, this mismatch flows from legal mandates rather than market demand. Every employee who brings a car to the office essentially doubles the amount of space he takes up at work, and in urban areas his employer may be required by law to build him a $50,000 garage parking space.


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The negative comments are astonishing. "We have parking requirements to protect neighborhoods" - Councilman Mike Laster. Protect them from what, parallel parking? "Walk for two blocks, it's not going to happen" - Councilman Greg Travis. Why not? It happens all the time.


Kind of a reminder that the old Houston is still alive, although thankfully diminished in power.



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