The Houston Chronicle
As we enter the mayoral election season, I wouldn't be surprised if our candidates hear from citizens that our city isn't providing enough parking, so our officials need to "fix it" - in other words, do what it takes to get us closer to the ideal of easy-and-free parking anywhere we want to go, while no one else can park on our own street except me and my neighbors.
However, I wonder if the politicians and bureaucrats who hear this perspective from the citizenry realize the prices paid for all the vast supply of parking that is implied to be necessary. While I could highlight many ways that the omnipresence of parking as a land use can negatively affect us, such as excessive and polluted storm runoff and urban heat islands, I want to focus on two main impacts: the reduced appeal and effectiveness of walking and the terrific financial burden our obsession with parking places on both the private and public sector.
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