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Parking Problem

So is parking on a city street for more than 3-hours without a permit. Like that one ever gets enforced in most neighbourhoods, except in the overnight 12:01 to 7:00 AM areas.

Exactly... I'm just pointing out to 'hawc' that that it is technical illegal to camp out over night at a public park - he seems to thing it is legal. Being enforced is a completely different thing...
 
Exactly... I'm just pointing out to 'hawc' that that it is technical illegal to camp out over night at a public park - he seems to thing it is legal. Being enforced is a completely different thing...

Is it technically illegal to be in a public park in the city of Toronto after a certain time? I know in Mississauga some of the parks have signs saying that the park closes at a certain time. I'm not sure if that's true of all Mississauga parks, or if it is enforced.
 
Here's an interesting situation in ParkatmyHouse, U.K.. Renting out empty driveways for cash. From this link:

ParkatmyHouse promises to turn empty driveways into cash in Portland area

You may be leery of renting out the family wagon to one of Oregon’s now-legal personal car-sharing pools. But how about making some coin off of your empty driveway?

ParkatmyHouse, which has 150,000 members in the United Kingdom, is expanding to the U.S. The initial marketing campaign will focus on New York, Washington, D.C., and Boston, but the driveway-renting company says people in Portland or any other metropolitan area can now sign up to rent out their carports.

The Occupy Driveway service is trying to get the attention of homeowners and business owners who have especially valuable parking spots that go unused most of the day “when they could be moneymaking real estate assets.â€

Haley Cook, a company spokeswoman, said U.K. homeowners have earned more than $5 million since the service launched five years ago. “Property owners who live near commuter areas with a train station can expect to earn over $2,000 per parking spot annually,†Cook said.

Tired of hide-and-ride MAX commuters leaving their vehicles on the street in front of your during the day? Why not make some money off of them? Now, you now have a way to offer them the option of reserving your driveway or even your garage for some pocket money.

It seems that it would also make it easier for people who live near the Rose Quarter to make money off their driveways during Blazers games or sold-out concerts.

“I could do this,†said Melissa Lim. “I live in North Portland though, and don't know if interest is there.â€

The genesis of ParkatmyHouse, according to a Fast Company story, goes something like this:

On a post-college visit to San Francisco, Anthony Eskinazi was driving around before a Giants game, hunting for a parking spot in vain, when he jokingly asked a friend, "Wouldn’t it be great if I could knock on that lady’s door, give her $10, and park in her driveway?" It’s not an uncommon sentiment, but Eskinazi--who eventually returned to England--decided to run with the idea, creating ParkatmyHouse, a site that connects homeowners and businesses that have parking to spare with the desperate drivers who spend hours circling around the block.



ParkatmyHouse also markets the service as a security feature, with a car parked in the driveway giving the impression that someone is home when you're gone.

"We're not talking about a few bucks," Eskinazi, CEO and founder of ParkatmyHouse, said in a news release. "Property owners with decent spots can make thousands every year. If people are curious, our website has a quick and easy tool to show what their or a friend's spot might be worth.â€

Of course, after less than a month stateside, the pickings are slim. Using The Oregonian’s downtown address and my home’s Northeast Portland address to register a spot, ParkatmyHome displayed a message saying it doesn’t "have enough data to estimate your spot's value." Bummer.

“In areas where not enough drivers or parking spots are registered, ParkatmyHome is collecting names and addresses to then follow up with people when there are enough spots listed,†Cook said.

The site estimates that it saves people an average of 70 percent on parking costs.

What do you think? Is driveway sharing something you would try?
 
I worked out of an office at Yonge and Eglinton in the late 70's/early 80's, many of my fellow employees rented underground parking spots in neighbourhood apartment buildings from the tenants. Parkdalians north of the CNE Dufferin gate parked cars on their property during the CNE for years, maybe still do. The only thing difference in the posting above is the insertion of an agency into the mix.
 
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I worked out of an office at Yonge and Eglinton in the late 70's/early 80's, many of my fellow employees rented underground parking spots in neighbourhood apartment buildings from the tenants. Parkdalians north of the CNE Dufferin gate parked cars on their property during the CNE for years, maybe still do. The only thing difference in the posting above is the insertion of an agency into the mix.

I thought the Parkdale/CNE lawn parking thing was function of a Chris Korwin-Kuczynski sponsored, site- and time-specific bylaw. I remember a discussion somewhere (maybe on urbantoronto?) when the issue came up again a couple of years ago re: people in Central Etobicoke running front-lawn parking lots during the Canadian Open golf tournament.
 

American Cars Are Getting Too Big For Parking Spaces

From link.
When Carl Schneeman, a partner at Walker Consultants, is designing a parking lot or public parking garage, he imagines every spot being filled by the same car. Not because he expects that to happen in real life, but because there are thousands of different cars and models on the road. He cannot possibly account for every one.

Instead, Schneeman uses a “a design vehicle,” he told Motherboard in a recent interview. This is not a real car or even a sketch of one. It is the bare outlines of a car, a two-dimensional representation of a car-shaped object. It is a car boiled down to the only two aspects of a car that matter to the parking lot designer: width and length.
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The design vehicle is a statistical composite of a car, compiled by the Parking Consultants Council, a professional association of parking lot designers. Every five years or so, the Parking Consultants Council analyzes the U.S.’s car sales data. It then calculates the 85th percentile car size, or the size of a car that is bigger than 85 percent of cars sold but smaller than the other 15 percent. The design vehicle Schneeman and his industry colleagues use is six feet seven inches wide and 16 feet 10 inches long; incidentally the exact width of a Ford’s F-150, the U.S.’s most popular vehicle and a symbol of the country’s appetite for larger cars.

This approach to designing parking spaces has historically served the parking industry well, ensuring space sizes accommodate the vast majority of American cars and leaving about 20 inches of space for people to open their doors and maneuver on either side. But, due to a statistical quirk in how the data is analyzed and implemented, it may no longer be working.

Increasingly, cars are too big for parking spaces, especially in parking garages and other paid parking lots where developers pay close attention to space size. Like the proverbial frog in a slowly heating pot of water, our cars have gotten ever-so-gradually bigger with each passing year, but the parking space standards have barely budged. Now, in the third decade of the growing car size trend, people are starting to notice.
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Schneeman said clients often tell him and his colleagues that spaces need to get bigger. “That is definitely something that we are hearing,” he told Motherboard.

The width of a parking space is the result of a carefully balanced determination between convenience, economics, and circumstance. While there is no uniform law covering all of the U.S.’s parking spaces, there are design standards that are relatively consistent across the country. Most parking spaces are between eight feet six inches and ten feet wide, but the most common size is nine feet (108 inches, with four inch wide lines). However, parking spot sizes vary depending on what kind of building they’re for. For free parking lots with high turnover—grocery stores and shopping plazas, restaurants, etc.—nine feet wide is the standard. Spaces outside office buildings are often six inches narrower because people come and go less and are more familiar with the design. Spaces at a Costco or Home Depot where people need more space to load their cars may be 10 feet wide.

Naturally, everyone wants bigger spaces. When Warren Vander Helm, a partner at Parking Design Group, first meets with a client on a new project, one of the first things they will say is they want the spots to be big. But once Vander Helm walks them through the local zoning regulations that require a certain number of parking spaces, how much more surface area big spots will require to meet that minimum, and how much more that will cost, the enthusiasm for big spots wanes.
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“For a surface lot, you’re looking at $7,000, $7,500 just to build one parking space,” Vander Helm said. “For an underground garage, in a city, it can be $200,000 per space, easy. Structured parking above ground is $40,000, $45,000 per space. That’s where developers may want wider parking spaces. But when it comes right down to it, then he falls back to what the city is saying you got to build.”
As a result of these punishing economics, in the world of parking spaces, inches matter. “Certainly, a foot is a lot,” said Vander Helm.

In a lot of hundred or even thousands of spaces, even a few inches can be the difference between profit and loss. Recently, Schneeman was working on a project for an office building in a mid-size city in the midwest that requires all parking spaces to be nine feet wide. They wanted to build a parking structure with spaces eight feet six inches wide, as is common at office buildings around the country.

Making each space six inches wider would have forced the structure to be eight percent bigger and therefore more expensive. “It was forcing us to consider a facility with a much larger footprint for the same number of cars,” Scheeman said. They had to apply for a zoning variance, which required an application and four meetings with city officials and the city council. They ultimately got the variance but it was, as Schneeman put it, “kind of a pain in the butt.”
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As parking lot designers scrutinize every inch of their work, car designers have been wantonly adding inches to theirs. American cars keep getting bigger. Car companies keep killing off small and medium-sized cars. In 1985, about three out of every four vehicles made for U.S. sale were sedans or wagons. To be sure, some wagons were quite boat-like, but mostly this represented the “small car” category.

The rest were trucks, minivans, vans, and pickups, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Today, that ratio has precisely flipped. About one in every four vehicles is a sedan or hatchback—wagons are essentially extinct—with the other three quarters the larger vehicles. It is the subject of much debate whether this was a trend driven by consumer preference or the fact that automakers can charge a lot more for bigger cars where the profit margins are significantly higher and therefore consistently invest billions of dollars a year in marketing campaigns to convince people they want or need bigger cars.

Regardless of the cause, the end result is roughly 50 percent of the American car market switched from sedans and wagons to SUVs, especially midsize and large SUVs, chunkifying the average American car. Consider someone who switched from a Honda Civic to a Honda CR-V. This added about three inches in width. A CR-V to a Pilot, a large SUV, would add five more inches in width. This may not sound like much, but repeat for half the cars in a parking lot and it adds up. For example, in a 700-space garage, if each car is four inches wider than its predecessor, that is 233 additional feet in car width—from the goal line to the opponent’s 23 yard line on a football field—that needs to be accommodated.
 
Plus, the SUV-ificiation of American cars is only part of the equation. Existing models put on pounds and inches with every design refresh—when a car commercial announces the “all-new” version of a model that has been around for decades—a trend that has been especially pronounced in the SUV/crossover segment. Motherboard researched the width of dozens of popular car models in the U.S. over the last 20 years and not a single one got narrower. The vast majority got wider, with only a few remaining within an inch of its predecessor. There are only a handful of models—unpopular ones at that—under 70 inches wide for sale. For example, a new Toyota Rav4 is five inches wider than the 2003 version. A Honda CR-V is three inches wider than its 2003 counterpart. Even sedans have slightly grown. The Camry and Accord are about 1.6 inches wider than they were in 2003.

Pickup trucks have quite obviously grown more than any other vehicle class in recent decades. They have grown in height and length, but not as much in width. A 2003 Ford F-150 was 79 inches wide, the same as the 2023 model. The F-250 and F-350 models are behemoths but only 1 inch wider. Dodge Ram pickups have followed the SUV trend of growing from 79 inches wide in the early 2000s to 82 inches and up to—gulp—88 inches in recent years for the largest models. But 80-plus inch wide cars are generally rare; the new Hummer EV is 86 inches wide because of course it is.
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Again, these inches add up. Parking designers plan for 20 inches of extra space in a parking spot to accommodate people coming and going from their cars, loading cargo and children, and so on. In a standard nine-foot wide space, that leaves 88 inches for the car itself. Modern cars fit by these standards, but only just. Drivers have to pull into spaces more or less perfectly to not encroach on neighboring spaces with their door swing. Even a few inches to the left or right will be a problem. And getting into that spot just right is harder than before, given that the cars are not only wider but longer, increasing the distance between the front and back wheels, which makes the turning radius bigger and maneuverability worse.

As a result, there is a phenomenon in American parking garages almost anyone who uses them will recognize. A car will be pulled into a spot just slightly off center. The car next to it will have to park further over in order to get out, and so will the next one. This will continue until one car will have to encroach on the space next to it, rendering that space useless except for perhaps a compact car, which almost nobody has.

In theory, the sales data the Parking Consultants Council analyzes will have taken all of these market changes into account and adjusted space width accordingly. This is, after all, what happened in the mid-20th Century, when cars became huge, boat-like cruisers during the 1950s and 60s when gas was cheap. Spaces got bigger. Then the oil crisis struck, gas prices skyrocketed, and fuel economy became all the rage. Car sizes shrunk and parking spots did too.

Scheeman said this time is different because, while there are obvious changes to the size of American vehicles, the 85th percentile isn’t budging. It’s a statistical quirk that reveals the shortcomings of the 85th percentile method—which, incidentally, is the same method departments of transportation use to set speed limits, measuring the speed of all cars on the road and determining the speed of the 85th percentile car, an approach that has also revealed itself to have tremendous shortcomings. In short, the 85th percentile method is not capturing the changes in the car sizes. The size of the 10th percentile car has exploded. The size of the 50th percentile car has grown tremendously. The size of the 70th percentile car has also grown. But the 85th percentile car is essentially the Ford F-150, which is much taller and longer than it used to be, but no wider.

As a result, the changes to parking space standards have not kept up with the explosion in vehicle sizes. In 1987, Scheeman says, the design vehicle used for parking space standards was three inches narrower than it is today. But, that same year, the best-selling car in the U.S., the Ford Escort, was a whopping 13 inches narrower than the best-selling car in 2022, the Ford F-150.

Scheeman told Motherboard he just received the most recent update to the design vehicle standards but hasn’t had a chance to look it over yet. “I think if we see a continuance in vehicles getting bigger and bigger, we're gonna have to look at it and say can people reasonably operate? If the vehicle is continuing to get wider, do we need to make an adjustment? I think we will.”

If this does happen, it will have a knock-on effect on the price for parking across the country. Essentially, parking lot owners will have two choices: Either make spaces bigger and charge more for them or make some spaces bigger, charge vehicles that park there more, and keep the prices lower for smaller vehicles. Oversized vehicle fees have become popular in dense urban parking lots, especially in New York City, but are rare in the rest of the country.

It’s easy to imagine the backlash that may ensue from any effort to charge people with large vehicles more for parking, even though the suggestion that people who use more of something should pay more than people who use less is one of the most basic tenets of economic theory and the basis of capitalism. But now, everything with a hint of stifling Traditional American Values is part of the culture wars. And, somehow, big cars have become part of that worldview. But there is nothing traditional about huge cars. The evidence is all around us. Just look down.
 
The trend to large SUV is almost certainly partially driven by marketing. Large SUVs are very popular and you don't see as many families buying minivans compared to twenty years ago. When I go to my kids school, to see a van is not common.

This is despite the fact the minivan provides more space of occupants, and costing much less. But vans have a vibe that customers have decided they don't like, and that vibe is reinforced by marketing for SUVs.
 
The trend to large SUV is almost certainly partially driven by marketing. Large SUVs are very popular and you don't see as many families buying minivans compared to twenty years ago. When I go to my kids school, to see a van is not common.

This is despite the fact the minivan provides more space of occupants, and costing much less. But vans have a vibe that customers have decided they don't like, and that vibe is reinforced by marketing for SUVs.
Minivans were always wimpy and utterly lame, so I'm not surprised they've fallen out of favour. Before that, station wagons had a similar image problem (unless you go back to the 50's - those were awesome!).
 
Minivans were always wimpy and utterly lame, so I'm not surprised they've fallen out of favour. Before that, station wagons had a similar image problem (unless you go back to the 50's - those were awesome!).

Though I've only ever owned mid-sized sedans, I've driven an old-school station wagon, a cube van, a mini-van, and a pick-up.

Of the latter, the mini-van was both the most practical and drove the best, also the most fuel-efficient.

The Cube Van and Pick-up were both favours for a contractor friend, as well as one back, when I helped someone move.

The Station Wagon was an emergency when helping get someone in distress to a hospital and taking their car, at their request.

While the Minivan was a rental for a camping trip.

Of all of these, I hated the station wagon the most, as the inordinate length and the distance from mirror to the bumper was just .... a challenge.

The cube van had lousy rear-view.

The pick-up drove fine, but I didn't like the big step in/out, nor did I care for the shocks or lack thereof.

While a mini-van would not be my choice for my own needs day to day, I think its quite practical for large groups, or couples/small groups hauling a lot of stuff.
 
The trend to large SUV is almost certainly partially driven by marketing. Large SUVs are very popular and you don't see as many families buying minivans compared to twenty years ago. When I go to my kids school, to see a van is not common.

This is despite the fact the minivan provides more space of occupants, and costing much less. But vans have a vibe that customers have decided they don't like, and that vibe is reinforced by marketing for SUVs.
It's also sort of driven by US regulations, which allows for worse fuel economy for larger vehicles. Kind of incentivizing larger vehicles.

 
Though I've only ever owned mid-sized sedans, I've driven an old-school station wagon, a cube van, a mini-van, and a pick-up.

Of the latter, the mini-van was both the most practical and drove the best, also the most fuel-efficient.

The Cube Van and Pick-up were both favours for a contractor friend, as well as one back, when I helped someone move.

The Station Wagon was an emergency when helping get someone in distress to a hospital and taking their car, at their request.

While the Minivan was a rental for a camping trip.

Of all of these, I hated the station wagon the most, as the inordinate length and the distance from mirror to the bumper was just .... a challenge.

The cube van had lousy rear-view.

The pick-up drove fine, but I didn't like the big step in/out, nor did I care for the shocks or lack thereof.

While a mini-van would not be my choice for my own needs day to day, I think its quite practical for large groups, or couples/small groups hauling a lot of stuff.
Since May 1st, 2018, all new cars sold in Canada, weighing 4536 kg or less, must be fitted with a backup camera, says Transport Canada.
They are required by regulation on passenger cars, SUVs, light pickup trucks, and minivans in Canada (CMVSS 111 Rear Visibility Systems).
 
It's also sort of driven by US regulations, which allows for worse fuel economy for larger vehicles. Kind of incentivizing larger vehicles.

Very interesting, I did not know this!
 

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