Re: Cohousing traffic studies
From: Kathryn McCamant (
Date: Wed, 26 Aug 2020 08:49:03 -0700 (PDT)
This is the kind of thing, actual traffic and parking counts,  that would be 
fabulous to have documented by researchers so we have real viable statistics to 

Kathryn McCamant, President
CoHousing Solutions


On 8/26/20, 8:24 AM, "Cohousing-L on behalf of Sharon Villines via 
Cohousing-L" < [at] on behalf of cohousing-l [at]> wrote:

    > On Aug 25, 2020, at 2:15 PM, Midcoast Cohousing <midcoastcohousing [at]> wrote:
    > Does anyone have information on cohousing traffic volume — number of 
trips per day, etc — compares with standard traffic models?

    (Somewhere in the archives is a message on Takoma Village’s history with 
parking, which relates to trips. I can’t find my copy just now. Fiona posted 
about the reduction in car trips with the use of a wonderful car sharing 
software that allows them to share cars and request ride shares.)

    The situation depends on what is available in the area — buses, Metro, etc. 
We are very close to the Metro in DC and a regional bus hub.

    After we moved in we found that people fairly quickly got rid of second 
cars as they aged out. Within 5 (?) years of move-in, several households got 
rid of their primary cars. This opened spaces for guest parking which we had 
not planned for. We have several people who do not use cars for commuting who 
loan their cars. We also have 5-6 short term rental cars within a block — worst 
case 3 blocks.

    We share shopping trips or pick up items for other people. With the 
internal email list, people post messages saying “I have a prescription waiting 
at CVS — is anyone going there?” People will stop on their way home from work 
to pick up milk, etc, for others.  Who is going to the Coop this weekend — I 
need 3 items? Is anyone going to Costco?

    During the pandemic the requests to borrow food items instead of making a 
trip to the grocery store and to pool trips have increased to reduce exposure 
to the outside. This has reduced exposure for high risk people who have not had 
to go out at all since February. The requests have become precise and unique: 2 
teaspoons of cinnamon, 2 tablespoons of Creme de menthe, cream for my morning 
coffee, Pepto Bismol. Heating pad.

    One person has also set up regular trips to a mail center that recycles 
cardboard boxes, the coop, drug store, hardware store, and the grocery store. 
He posts his trips on the email list and people either call in and pay for 
their orders directly for him to pick up or send him a list before a deadline 
he specifies. (Pre-covid, we had a small traffic jam in the local CVS with 3 
people on the way home from work going in to pick up Diet Coke for me when I 
was ill and desperate.)

    Cohousing allows for that kind of traffic reduction because we have an 
internal communications system and we all know each other. Unless you have 
lived in a neighborhood for many years, it is unlikely that you know your 
neighbors well enough to do this except in extreme emergencies. And you 
probably don’t have an email list for your block, which makes it easy to post a 
message that will reach many people increasing the chances of a response.

    Cohousing makes all these things convenient, particularly in attached and 
stacked units.

    Sharon Villines
    Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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