Portland’s NO Off-Street Parking Apartments Leads To More On-Street Parking – Not Fewer Cars.

On-street parking clogged neighborhood.You’d think in-city apartments built with easy access to mass transit and without parking garages would discourage car ownership but that’s not happening in Portland – there’s just too much free parking on the neighboring streets. In a study put together for the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, 72% of the apartment residents surveyed (with and without off-street parking) owned a car. Of the car owners, 64% make their daily commute by biking, walking, riding mass transit or carpooling/ridesharing to work.

There’s a great quote in the study from the car owners:

“A common trend in this study is that people are reluctant to get rid of their vehicles. One of the questions the survey asked was what amenities would reduce the respondent’s need for motorized vehicle ownership. Many people stated that there were no amenities that would reduce their need for a vehicle.”

And the quote is coming from mass-transit riding – bicycling – walking Portlandians!

Convincing people to live car-free may be a mistake. Encouraging people to drive less is probably a better way to go. [Oregon Live]

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Chicago’s Greenway Self-Park: Should A Parking Garage Ever Be Considered Earth Friendly?

Greenway Self-Park ChicagoGrid Chicago has an interesting article on the Greenway Self-Park which has been self-labeled as “Chicago’s first earth friendly parking garage.” What the … earth friendly parking garage? Its developer, Friedman Properties, did build some eco features into the parking garage that include lighting that auto-dims in sunlight, electricity-generating wind turbines (that may or may not work), it’s built with locally sourced materials and it has a green roof to mitigate runoff. They even incorporated a VW Bug with green leaves spewing from its exhaust in their logo. All good but should a parking garage ever be considered earth friendly?

I don’t want to hate on Friedman Properties too much because they tried to build a more eco / environmentally / sustainable parking garage but judging by the article’s comments, most people aren’t buying it and they’re seeing right through the thin green label.

That’s why we think FP needs to strip away the green from their logo and in the future, refer to their garage as earth friendlier versus earth friendly. Self-applying the earth friendly label is always risky – trying to apply it to a 715 space parking garage is just plain foolish. [Grid Chicago}

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