Should private charging stations be installed in public space? (Survey)
© D. Laumer, Philadelphia
Lots of people live in houses and apartments without parking spaces, particularly in older parts of town where the houses were built before cars were common. They park on the street, often with some kind of permit system that ensures that local residents can find a spot. They are usually not designated spaces.
But what happens if you own an electric car or a plug-in hybrid like a Chevy Volt? A sharp-eyed but left-leaning reader sends us these photos of an installation in Philadelphia, where a charging unit has been installed on a 4x4 post that has an underground electric conduit going back to a townhouse. Now the resident essentially has a private parking space on the public street, with a personal charging station that has certainly been installed without any consultation with the department in charge of street trees, since sticking a post and conduit that close to a tree wouldn't normally be permitted. However there is a police station across the street, so it probably isn't an illegal installation.
© D. Laumer
It's actually a difficult and complex issue. We want to promote electric cars as being far greener. We understand that people have to park somewhere. A public charging network doesn't exist and we don't want extension cords laying across the sidewalk.
But this is public space, which I assume is being appropriated for private use. we don't want that, either.