Study: Nearly a third of downtown Detroit is parking
Detroit's downtown has more parking lots or garages than most other major U.S. metros. The central business district itself is 30% parking, per Parking Reform Network.
Why it matters: The national nonprofit, as well as local groups over the years, say policies creating overwhelming amounts of downtown parking spots have altered the places we live.
Context: Parking takes up space that could be used for real estate development that brings jobs or housing, activist group Detroiters for Parking Reform argues, per Detour.
- Plus, an emphasis on driving de-incentivizes public transit and makes cities less walkable, Parking Reform contends. Low-income residents who are less likely to have cars end up subsidizing parking costs for higher-income residents.
Zoom out: Arlington, Texas had the highest percentage of downtown parking (42%), while San Francisco and Chicago's central areas were among those with the lowest (4%).
- Columbus scored 27%, Atlanta 25% and Pittsburgh 18%, per Parking Reform.
Between the lines: The network's parking maps include surface lots and above-ground structures, but not underground parking or structures that take up multiple floors of a building.
- The maps measure the cities' "densest, most centrally located, and most valuable real estate."
Of note: Parking Reform's map includes downtown and Greektown but not the Ilitch-owned, parking-heavy areas around Little Caesars Arena.
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