Over the past week, I’ve had numerous conversations where this “rule-of-thumb” kept popping up:
1 newly constructed parking space = $30,000 or more
While on most days I work from a home office, I am a regular user of the park-and-ride near my house as I venture into downtown Seattle for the occasional meeting. More than once have I lamented the lack of parking as I circled the lot like a vulture just so I could ride a bus. At a basic level, the concept of “park-and-ride” seems totally logical — the best of both suburbia and city life. With each circle of the overflowing lot and each spiral up the parking garage, I feel pangs of annoyance at the lack of a home for my single-occupant vehicle.
But, as someone that works on energy infrastructure and financial models, this number, $30,000 / parking spot is pretty staggering. As Alan Durning from the Sightline Institute puts it:
“Our car storage spaces are worth more than our cars.”
I’m left with more questions:
- Is this really the best use of our public funds?
- This is just parking, what about the roads?
Others have written eloquently on this topic before me (list of links below.)
- PARK PLACE: Your parking costs more than your car – Alan Durning
- Proposed light-rail expansion includes 8,560 park-and-ride stalls — but is it enough? – Mike Lindblom
- Park It – Lydia Depills