Los Angeles has over 100 square miles of surface parking. That’s almost one-quarter of the city’s entire size. For scale, imagine Manhattan multiplied by a little over four, and you have a sense of how much land L.A. reserves for cars to sit.
The problems with America’s love of cars and the space devoted to storing them are well-documented. In the entire country, New York is the only city that has more households than parking spots. Elsewhere, the ratio is skewed. Jackson, Wyoming, for instance, has 27.1 parking spaces per household. Los Angeles, like many other cities, has strict minimum parking requirements attached to buildings: Each residential unit must come with around two off-street parking spots, and for every 100 square feet of commercial space built, a developer also has to provide for one off-street parking space.
What else could be done with all that space?