Sunday, August 29, 2010

Mapping the Land Lost to Parking

In the United States we dedicate a lot of land to parking and it's worth thinking about what we could be doing with that land if it weren't going to cars. Maybe we could have more parks, more affordable housing, wider sidewalks, bike lanes or new land for jobs.

Using a technique called a figure ground map you can really get a feel for what's for people and what's for cars. I made a quick one for the area around the Pico Blue Line station in Los Angeles.

Source: Google Maps

What's the priority here?


  1. Great visual! Can you do this for the most and least walkable stations for each rail line based on your previous posts?

  2. Thanks. I can, but it'll take a lot of work, and I only have so much time to dedicate to this :)

  3. I hate to say it, but that map doesn't tell the whole story.

    During Anime Expo, some of the convention folks wanted to provide all of the anime fans with a cheap/affordable alternative to the typical downtown businessman lunch.

    Well, somebody said "What about Kogi? Everybody loves Kogi! (except for Tom LaBonge)".

    So, they scouted around all of the popular gourmet taco trucks, and they got the same answer from all of them... there's no street parking at the convention center.
    Well, I don't know how, but somehow they worked a deal with the parking lot at the corner of Fig and Pico.
    By the time Anime Expo rolled around, that lot had transformed into a food court, with six or seven Korean/ Chinese/ Italian/ Mexican fusion trucks serving up Los Angeles' best street food.

    There's a street basketball tournament and I think also some other events which use all of that asphalt.

    So.. yeah. I would love to see a TOD between the convention center and the Pico station, but the situation isn't all black and white.

  4. @ James

    The map definitely doesn't tell the whole story. Still, I really don't like that there is a parking lot the size of a city block in the middle of Downtown LA right next to a convention center that has its own parking garage and a light rail stop.

    I vote for a transit oriented development with a basketball court and street parking for food trucks :)

  5. I hate to nitpick, but it would have to be basketball courts, plural :)

    That was a huge streetball tournament, and a great location for it, right next door to Staples Center.

    Maybe a public sports park might be a good idea for that spot?