In Praise of Parking (lots)
From: PattyMara Gourley (
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 2002 21:36:05 -0700 (MST)
Here at Tierra Nueva, Central CA Coast, we have two parking lots.  When
planning our pedestrian-friendly community, with cars allowed only on the
periphery, the parking lots were considered necessary evils, and somehow
"less deserving" than the more politically correct common spaces like the
village green and pedestrian pathways and gathering nodes.  

We have mild weather year round, and don't have to deal with snow or a
tremendous amount of rain, so our outdoor parking works fine.

After living here for nearly five years I have learned to really
appreciate our two lots. A myriad of sports activities take place in
both, including:  basketball, roller blading/hockey practice, scooter
races, wagon parades, skateboard tricks and bicycle riding.    In
addition,  there is a tremendous amount of social interaction which
occurs when folks are coming or going to their cars, and one can always
get a sense of who's home (or not) by whose car is there (or not). 

Our garages and carports offer storage for stuff as well as for
cars/motorcycles.  One of our members does antique restoration and repair
in his garage at the entrance to the site, and he serves as a
"gatekeeper"/greeter for the community.  Others have set up wood shops or
art studios.  And occasionally another member spends the night sleeping
in his garage when he needs personal space away from his spouse.    

I've learned to release my judgements about cars, parking lots and
garages/carports.  They play a necessary and nurturing role in our
community life.

Patty Mara
Tierra Nueva

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