Re: Question from a fellow cohousing group!
From: Raines Cohen (
Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2002 12:31:01 -0700 (MST)
On 11/18/02 11:03 AM, Francesca Holinko wrote (off the list):

>I am member of the Mosaic Commons CoHousing group in Massachusetts (in the
>planning stages).  We are seeking info. from other cohousing groups about
>issues surrounding parking.  Currently, we are planning to have 2 parking
>spaces per household, with about 2-4 guests spaces (total).  We would like
>to know how parking is working in your communities.  We would also like to
>know what problems have arisen and how you have solved these problems.  For
>instance, in our most recent meeting, the question was raised about how to
>deal with a possible need for more space, i.e., as children reach 16 and
>start to have their own cars.  Any insight and information you can give
>about this problem and others that have come up in your community would be
>greatly appreciated!

Francesca -

For best results post your question directly on The Cohousing Network's 
discussion list, Coho-L; I've cc'd that list with our response.

Our group is urban, a block from the main subway station, and we got away 
with 1 space per household. What your community will expect of you 
depends on local practices and standards. I know that in your climate 
that onstreet parking is more restricted during winter "snow 
emergencies", to allow for plowing; also, your location is sufficiently 
rural that onstreet parking may not be allowed - what are the current 
regulations? It also depends on your mix.

What may work well is to have "flexible" space... allocated to parking 
but unpaved, so that it can get dedicated to other uses when not covered 
with vehicles.

We have a few members with two cars. A couple of us without cars rent 
spaces to them; a couple of 'em rent spaces in the adjacent garage from 
the property manager for the rest of the building. One renter here parks 
onstreet at metered spaces and then gets up early to move her car before 
the meter maids (excuse me, Parking Control Officers) come by.

Two members here share an electric car, and a couple of us are members of 
City Car Share <>, a nonprofit that lets us 
rent a fleet of cars here and in SF/Berkeley by the hour/mile... and they 
recently put a station wagon right outside our door, available for use.

There's also some informal trip-sharing, running errands for one 
another... but that develops slowly, over time.

If the site doesn't have good transit access, you might talk to 
neighbors, both business and residence, about the idea of banding 
together to lobby for a shuttle service or something to help bridge the 
gap and make cars less necessary.

The group could even set up, if it doesn't exist regionally through a 
transit-advocacy or government organization, a "guaranteed ride home" 
program that pays for taxi fare if members who reduce car use miss a 
connection or have to come home early.

Rather than assume that everyone will get an additional car at age 16, 
why not develop systems that makes that less necessary / desirable? 
Sharing existing cars can go a long way.

For me, this is the essence of what Cohousing is about: providing the 
tools and "economies of scale" to do more for sustainability and the 
environment than we could accomplish living alone.

Raines Cohen <my initials,2,dash,coho,dash,L at my first name .com>

  Member, Swan's Market Coho [Oakland, CA] <>
Where the movie "Swing" is being filmed at Ratto's deli across the 
street, starring Jonathan Winters and Jacquelyn Bissett!

  Facilitator, East Bay Cohousing [on hiatus] <>
Just spoke yesterday at a "cohousing with a clubhouse" meeting in North 

  Boardmember, The Cohousing Network <>
Working on compiling Coho organizational documents to make them more 

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