Problem, research strategy, and findings: Many cities have adopted minimum parking requirements, but there is relatively poor information about how parking infrastructure has grown. We estimate how parking has grown in Los Angeles County (CA) from 1900 to 2010 and how parking infrastructure evolves, affects urban form, and relates to changes in automobile travel using building and roadway growth models. We find that since 1975 the ratio of residential off-street parking spaces to automobiles in Los Angeles County is close to 1.0 and the greatest density of parking spaces is in the urban core, while most new growth in parking occurs outside of the core. In total, 14% of Los Angeles County's incorporated land is committed to parking. Uncertainty in our space inventory is attributed to our building growth model, on-street space length, and the assumption that parking spaces were created as per the requirements.Takeaway for practice: The continued use of minimum parking requirements is likely to encourage automobile use at a time when metropolitan areas are actively seeking to manage congestion and increase transit use, biking, and walking. Widely discussed ways to reform parking policies may be less than effective if planners do not consider the remaining incentives to auto use created by the existing parking infrastructure. Planners should encourage the conversion of existing parking facilities to alternative uses.
- Los Angeles
- infrastructure growth
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Urban Studies