Cities like Berkeley, Arlington and Cambridge experienced something different. Even as they cut back on surface parking, the number of people and jobs climbed upward, as did incomes. Less parking in these places has meant the urban fabric can be stitched back together and there is more space for shops, restaurants, jobs and other things that make cities great. More importantly, the parking isn’t needed. People own cars at higher rates, but they don’t use them as much. Instead, they live close to the urban core where upwards of 30 percent walk or bike to work.
Saskatoon still has not figured out this concept. The car is god here, leaving us with longer and longer commutes, a downtown wasteland of parking lots, and detached and isolated citizens who don’t know their neighbours.
It is true that our transit sucks and our winters are cold. But let’s have a radical vision, that really isn’t all that radical, because many, many other cities have already figured it out. More roads does not equal less traffic. Cities should not be built for cars but for people.