And what is the effect of all this parking on walkability? It doesn't make for the most interesting vistas. And much has been said about the safety of areas like these, especially at night with few people around, poor lighting, and no where close to run to in an emergency.
Parking is a weirdly emotive topic and one that I will certainly return to while completing our Challenge, including attempting to answer some of the questions I have posed above. In the meantime, for anyone interested and who hasn't already read it, check out Donald Shoup's High Cost of Free Parking
What we found during our walk looked to be the opposite of this approach, and seems remarkably unproductive and a sad waste of both space and economic opportunity.