Mark to Park

I propose that the regulation of parking space on-street offers a simple and critical sensitive intervention point for policy-makers to generate a movement that tackles many of the negative externalities of private car use, including climate change.
Road transport emissions make up a growing share of global carbon emissions. Electrification offers a partial solution, but does not on its own eliminate all GHG emissions, nor solve the many other issues caused by car use and dependence, such as congestion or physical inactivity.
Meanwhile, interventions such as major improvements to public transport systems are neither quick, cheap, nor easy to scale. Nor are they likely to influence drivers and mass behavioural change. In contrast, the regulation of parking affects everyone who drives.
The default is usually that parking is allowed on the public highway anywhere, anytime, unless it is prohibited or restricted through regulatory mechanisms made manifest in signs and road markings. But what if this paradigm were reversed? What if all parking is banned on the public highway, unless signs or road markings allow otherwise?
Such a trigger would catalyse drivers to reconsider their parking and driving routines, and communities to reconsider their priorities for public space. This trigger could change the normative view of automobility as a door-to-door mode of transport, thus creating a positive feedback loop around where people drive and park, and how they use public space.
Best practice case studies from around the world of zones that limit or manage parking have prepared the ground for change. Urban authorities are being challenged to reallocate space from parking to the charging of electric vehicles or drop-off / pick-up areas for new mobility services. Deciding where to allow parking will require local resource, but the principle of Mark to Park is critical, quick to introduce, and scalable.

 

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Trigger (intervention)

 

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Author

Hannah Budnitz

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