I came across this article looking at the ways in which Cities in the States are starting to rethink the use of transport spaces.
Car transport takes up a lot of space in our lives and in our cities and it’s not only on the roads. Carparking takes up space in our back yards, it takes up heaps of space in our shopping centres and around our workplaces and recreational spaces. Off-street parking needs about 28-32 square meters space, which includes access lanes and landscaping. That means we can provide about 250-370 parks per hectare depending on design.
So what does this cost? Well:
- There is the cost of the land which of course varies significantly depending on where in a City you are. In my part of town, land is not very cheap. And unlike just about any other city in the world land in the centre of Christchurch at the moment is quite cheap (and look at all the not free car parking you can find there at the moment!
- There is the cost of building each park (paving, painting, designing, permitting, landscaping etc) statistics in the states suggests that each space costs about US$15,000 to build or construct – quite a bit more than most of the cars that park in them.
- There is the cost of maintenance – resurfacing, repainting, rates paid on the land etc.
- There are the environmental costs – from issues with stormwater to issues with making a place less conducive to other forms of transport, greenhouse gas emissions in the building of the park and so on.
In comparison, bikes take up a lot less room and in studies that have been done elsewhere and relatively high class cycle parks cost a few hundred dollars to install and provide parking for 2 bikes. Cycle parking has a better economic return than car parking per square metre. Where cyclists may spend less per trip, they often come on more trips and per square metre of parking space, they have a much greater return. Yet as this blog points out bike parking is considered an afterthought. Certainly, in Christchurch, we have been talking about a need for bike parking for some years and the need is still there!
You only have to visit a library or the CCC building to know that these places do not have enough parking outside them. I’m expecting that as our cycle network is built, we will need to be more concerted about ensuring that there are bike parks available around the City and Suburbs.