Your bedroom is smaller than your car’s—that and other surprising facts stand out in a new infographic we’ve assembled with architect and designer Seth Goodman of Graphing Parking.

Living Space vs. Parking Space in Cascadia

Click here for the largest version of the infographic (zoom in for full resolution) or here for a landscape version.

Mandatory off-street parking quotas written into local land-use laws have pernicious effects. At multifamily buildings, localities require developers to construct off-street parking spaces for each apartment or condominium. Many cities also require a side order of visitor parking. The requirements vary with unit size and sometimes with city zone, and they are rife with exemptions, exceptions, and complexities. (I’ll discuss some of them in a future article.)

  • Still, the underlying parking minimums are typically one to two slots per dwelling. To build a two-bedroom apartment in Portland, Seattle, or Vancouver, BC, you must install one parking stall (unless various conditions apply). Same goes for Eugene, Oregon, and Spokane, Washington. The quota rises to around 1.5 slots per apartment in Surrey and Burnaby, BC; Boise, Idaho; and Tacoma, Washington. It’s near or at 2 spaces in Gresham, Oregon; Kent and Yakima, Washington; and Meridian and Nampa, Idaho.

    Architect and designer Seth Goodman has been mapping parking requirements across the United States in arresting infographics. He enthusiastically agreed to work with Sightline on this Cascadian edition to distill some of the variation and complexities of parking requirements. It shows what’s required in the 27 most populous Cascadian cities—and indicates the footprints of parking space and living space in each—for an average-size two bedroom apartment that follows the basic parking rule in the city where it’s built.

    The mismatch between these rules and actual parking demand will be the topic of my next article.

    Big thanks to Mieko Van Kirk and Pam MacRae for researching parking requirements in Cascadian cities and to Seth Goodman for making parking requirements visually interesting.