- For traffic-calming, cars parked on the street represent obstacles to moving cars and narrow the streets, which incites drivers to go more slowly and carefully
- For pedestrian protection, as parked cars create a barrier of steel between moving vehicles and pedestrians on sidewalks
- For aesthetic reasons, to keep the front of lots devoid of driveways and garages (often pushed to a back alley)
|These two images are both from Markham's New Urbanist development, within hundreds of meters of each other...|
|...they illustrate what effect relocating driveways to back alleys and relying more on on-street parking has|
- It is better to have narrow streets with objects like walls, fences and trees bordering them than to rely on wide streets and the presence of temporarily parked vehicles to narrow them. When you build a wide street in prevision of on-street parking and there are few parked cars, the street is wide and incites speeding.
- A barrier works both ways, if parked cars prevent cars from going on the sidewalk, they also create a psychological barrier for pedestrians to keep them off the street and on narrow sidewalks.
- Though on-street parking does keep house fronts from being laden with garages and driveways, unbroken lines of parked cars are no better esthetically.
|On this long stretch of road of maybe one kilometer, there's less than a dozen car (and a bus) visible|
|On this 150-meter block, there's 4 cars visible|
|Good visibility up to 300 meters and only 6 cars visible|
|Just one car on its lonesome in a space around 1 000 square meters in area (150 meters times 6 meters).|
|Of the 20-21 meters of right-of-way, fully 60% (12-13 meters) is given to cars, despite how few there are|
|Worse, only about half the sidewalk is a pedestrian corridor, the rest is a buffer for poles, trees and parking meters|
|Another section of Sainte-Catherine street, in green the pedestrian corridor, in orange the buffer zone for fixed objects|
Though here I spoke specifically of one street in Montréal, I think the same observations could be made on a lot of streets all over North America.