Every year since 2013, Strong Towns has set aside Thanksgiving week to draw extra attention to the destructive, wealth-draining and vitality-sapping nature of minimum parking requirements. Why that week in particular? Because when communities decide that malls, big-box stores, shopping centers, grocery stores, and other retail businesses need to have huge parking lots, they cite the peak demand experienced on the busiest shopping days of the year.
Let’s set aside the prudence of squandering precious land all year for the sake of making it easier to find a parking spot on one or two days. The irony is that even on Black Friday, one of the busiest retail shopping days of the year, many parking lots are barely even half-full.
Every year on Black Friday, people all across North America snap photos of the (hardly full) parking lots in their communities to demonstrate how unnecessary these massive lots are. Participants upload those photos to social media—Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Facebook—with the hashtag #BlackFridayParking.
So where will you be this Black Friday? Wherever you are, we hope you’ll participate in this year’s #BlackFridayParking campaign. It’s a fun way of drawing attention to wasteful parking minimum requirements. It’s also helped accelerate a movement for parking reform that is taking hold in dozens of towns and cities across North America.