Of the six cities we looked at, parking supplies in three cities just about leveled off after 1980. In the other three, parking supplies nearly doubled for a second time.

If the function of parking in these places was to enable growth and development, the data suggests they were abysmal failures. The number of people and jobs dropped by as much as 15 percent and the median family incomes fell by 20 to 30 percent in some places. Today, these places still struggle to compete in their regions…

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.