… and auto repair stores, and auto parts stores, and other businesses that have something do to with motor vehicles - the topic of this post.
I’m writing a comprehensive land use plan for an exurban community. THe main road through the town has a disproportionately large number of small businesses that, in some way, deal with motor vehicles and internal combustion engines, ranging from auto parts stores to auto body shops to used car dealers.
I’ve noticed a similar land use pattern throughout the United States; in the outermost suburbs – really, distant rual communities that are just beginning to experience suburban development – the percentage of businesses related to motor vehicles is much higher than in older suburbs or the inner city. I have a few thoughts on why such a development pattern is common:
- Sewer and water may nto ba available, and auto-related uses usually don’t consume lots of water.
- Land is cheaper, and it’s easier for someone to open a new business.
The thing I’m trying to understand more about is … why cars? There’s a saying that “retail follows rooftops,” but is there really a demand for a used car dealership for every 250 to 500 residents? I never see anybody shopping at these stores, so how do they stay in business? Is there a cultural factor?
Pretty much, I’m trying to discern the “freakonomics” of small vehicle-related businesses and their tendanciy to agglomerate in exurban communities. Can anyone enlighten me further?