In A World…

(yes, imagine that deep-voiced announcer speaking)  I have an idea for a great event. I am unveiling it here, for Columbus to consider.  (Disclaimer: It is not solely my unique idea.  Like all great ideas, it was created organically with many people brainstorming.  And yes I realize this overlaps with other things going on in Columbus, we can work together on this, or at least share ideas.)

2 parking meters


                             USDOT sign for bicyclesymbol for a scooteryou can see the blades of green grassarrow pointing to the right

I want an event that will highlight how many scooters and bicycles we can fit into one car parking space.  I want an event that will draw attention to better uses of public space than storing cars.  In short, I have a dream.  I call it a plan but I haven’t done much work on it yet, so I think dream is the more apt term.

(Now if you hate green space and you only want motorcycle and scooter parking, then you should stop reading now.  You’ve been warned, this idea might be going a bit off topic from the main subject of this site.)

Now, how to communicate this vision?  (oy, too many terms)  OK.  I previously asked for some graphic design help, and I’m still working on that.  I can not do that work myself, it is just not my skill.  (So yes you can still help!)  So I’m going to use a poor step-child to pretty renderings: photos.  They aren’t even cropped together, so you’ll have to use your imagination.  (I have tried to give all photo credits, please let me know if you want your photo removed.  Just click on the photo to see where it is from.)

What do I want from you, dear reader?  I want your suggestions, your criticisms, your pragmatic comments, your wild-and-visionary comments, your energy, your enthusiasm.  Tell me, what do you think of this idea?

Imagine an already established event that is held here in Columbus, oh – say once a month.  Now imagine it with some slight changes.  Keep these changes in mind as you head out this weekend.  Where, you ask?  Oh I don’t know – maybe Gallery Hop?

 Short North in Columbus at night   Imagine an area with lots of people walking around.

(cue announcer voice) In a world without parked cars… what do you do with all those parking spaces?

Starting simple you get this:6 motorcycles parked in a row in San Diego






   You can probably fit 3 – 4 motorcycles in each car space, with parking spaces this wide.  It is important to provide enough space that riders can get on and off without hitting the motorcycles next to them.

Rule of thumb – most scooters are smaller than their motorcycle brethren.  So you can fit more scooters in the same car space.  Here you see similar non-crammed parking, with 5 scooters.

5 scooters parked in a row







Now imagine that the former-car-parking-spaces are also used by bicycles.

bikes parked in official street parking

taking up former car spaces on the street







Seems like you can fit 6 – 12 bikes in the parking space created for one car.

And just to reiterate, this is in the space that was formerly a car parking space.

8 bikes parked on the street

But wait, a big row of parking, albeit motorcycles and scooters and bicycles…. can’t we do better?  Hmmm…. what if there was some green space in between the parking sections?

chairs sit on grass in a reclaimed parking space







Ah yes, that’s better.  🙂

In a future post I will give some more reasoning as to why this is a most excellent idea.  But today I just wanted to leave you with the pictures, with the images.

Thank you for reading.  And I repeat – Please share your suggestions, your criticisms, your pragmatic comments, your wild-and-visionary comments, your energy, your enthusiasm.  Tell me, what do you think of this idea?

We now return you to your regularly scheduled business-as-usual day:

in Columbus, OH


2 responses to “In A World…

  1. Heya-

    Consider this my return to putting forth effort on this front – I did mention the site and the issue at our comfest workshop however! So, with that I give you this.

    Last year I was thinking about parking structures etc and had an idea for a reusable parking structure material. That isn’t really useful in this case but the inspiration for that could be used here. Why not reclaim a few spots on each street to be used as you have shown above but cut out the pavement in those spots and instead use pavers like these:

    so that green life can go on in these spots. Since bicycles, motorbikes and scooters have a much lower impact a hearty grass should thrive there and would be a place to catch water without dumping it back into the sewage system.

    As for a graphic event it might be fun to find someone who has a flat-bed pickup truck (for the sake of transport) and then construct a handful of iconic cut-out motorbikes, etc and have them “parked” in a spot. Move this around the city over the period of a week or two and ask for people’s reaction to it.

  2. I think grass parking spaces or permeable pavements could make a lot of sense. See these links:

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