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Lots of Parking: Land Use in a Car Culture
When the automobile was first introduced, few Americans predicted its fundamental impact, not only on how people would travel, but on the American landscape itself. Instead of reducing the amount of wheeled transport on public roads, the advent of mass-produced cars caused congestion, at the curb and in the right-of-way, from small midwestern farm towns to New York, Chicag ...more
Paperback, 293 pages
Published May 30th 2005 by University of Virginia Press
(first published May 1st 2004)
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This book is a history of parking, and let's be honest here: it's kind of a tough slog even if it's the sort of thing you're interested in. Which I am, to an extent, but apparently not enough to make it through to the end of this. In the 3/4 I did read, I learned some interesting facts about how and why we came to ruin vast swathes of our cities to accommodate cars. The maps showing the encroaching expanses parking occupied in cities like Detroit and Indianapolis are actually fascinating. Howeve ...more
It was the only book I could find on parking lot history, so I was willing to give a little leeway, but these guys didn't even phone it in...they texted it in while they were drinking and playing trivial pursuit.
Some parts are interesting, the attempts by downtown businesses to organize parking associations, the battle over municipal parking garages in the fifties, but the authors' habit of lifting whole paragraphs straight from companies' websites is jaw-droppingly lazy.
There aren't a lot of books on parking out there, but I'm really enjoying this one. Call me a parking geek (being in the business), but who know you could find such history on the parking industry all in on place? Fascinating, and really gives you a different perspective when you see the evolution of lots and garages and their place in the big TDM picture.