Takoma Park, DC’s preferred prodigal suburb, takes al fresco to the streets.

Looking out the window from inside a café in Takoma Park, Maryland, patrons get astraightforward view of the café’s al fresco diners.Nothing too remarkable about the image at first blush, beyond the unusually high level of care afforded to separating the seating from the sidewalk. Not only does the dining space feature attractive, movable wrought

Small-town parking meters: when the knob doesn’t even turn over a two-bit solution.

I’ve seen some pretty remarkable cheats that allow people to circumvent paid parking, but this one has to take the cake. It comes courtesy of Carlisle, a well-situated, generally prosperous small city in south-central Pennsylvania. This meter sits on Pomfret Street, a remarkably well-preserved mixed-use corridor just a few paces away from Carlisle’s downtown civic

Meter meditations made material.

Loath as I am to feature a blog article without a single photo, work and travel obligations are preventing me right now from getting my “real” articles written at the pace that I’d like. And this topic makes for good filler, because it’s a follow-up on a previous small article that generated a fair amount

Measuring demand in meters.

As work commitments prevent me from getting to the sort of articles I want to write, I have to settle for much shorter filler material for the time being.  But, unlike most of my blog posts, the photo below is not reflective of any particular location.  It could be just about anywhere in the country.

The true harbinger of social meltdown in New Orleans.

Our original intention for taking this photo while in New Orleans was to vindicate ourselves in case we were ticketed for not paying for our off-street space in a private surface lot. But it also proves useful for another musing on the necessity of parking. Yes, it’s a private, self-service parking meter. And the black

When a better (no, perfect) deal is only 20 feet away.

Planners and economic geographers have long dissected the negative impacts to urbanism induced by the provision of vast stretches of off-street parking in central business districts; Donald Shoup’s The High Cost of Free Parking is simply the most high-profile of many evaluations of the embedded inefficiencies created when public officials do their utmost to distort

Generosity can be measured in meters.

Many municipalities see the pricing on meters for on-street parking as a science unto itself. Of course a city wants greater revenue, but it does not want to deter people from parking on the street—almost always the most preferred method over more costly garages—simply because the prices become too high. After all, parking meters typically

Meter meditations made material.

Loath as I am to feature a blog article without a single photo, work and travel obligations are preventing me right now from getting my “real” articles written at the pace that I’d

Measuring demand in meters.

As work commitments prevent me from getting to the sort of articles I want to write, I have to settle for much shorter filler material for the time being.  But, unlike most of

When a better (no, perfect) deal is only 20 feet away.

Planners and economic geographers have long dissected the negative impacts to urbanism induced by the provision of vast stretches of off-street parking in central business districts; Donald Shoup’s The High Cost of Free

Generosity can be measured in meters.

Many municipalities see the pricing on meters for on-street parking as a science unto itself. Of course a city wants greater revenue, but it does not want to deter people from parking on