Monday, April 20, 2009

Challange to Readers II - Impact of Cars in the U.S.

Today's post is just a simple challenge. If you saw Yesterday's, Random Reasoning's X, I talked about automobiles in the United States and the world. It is estimated today that there are 300 million cars in the U.S. and 600 million world wide. It is expected that this number will double in 30 years.

Cars are taking up a lot of room in this country and the resulting pollution with today's technology is causing environmental concern planet- wide. Global warming is becoming more problematic because of our love of the automobile. This does not mean that 30 years from now we can't have clean burning, energy efficient cars that will help to sustain our environment.

Here's the question: If we parked every car in the United States in one big parking lot, with each parking space 10 feet by 20 feet (200 square feet), which state or portions of states would be required to house all 300 million cars?

I wouldn't mind charging Logan Airport parking rates for this fun little game. Feel free to do some math, take a guess or multiple guesses. Just a short note: don't included the inundated areas of states in the calculation. You shouldn't park a car under water.



  1. Thank's for guessing but no! Here's a hint; one entire state would be needed and then a percentage of some other state. Thank you so much for friending my site. Tomtaok

  2. California is way too big, Nevada is too big and Vermont is still too big.

  3. How about Delaware or Rhode Island?

  4. We have a winner: As luck would have it; it's a reference librarian.

    The solution:

    300 million cars X 200 sq. ft. per car =
    60 trillion sq. ft.
    60 trillion / 43,560 sq. ft per acre =
    1,377,410 acres to park 300 million cars

    1,377,410 Ac / 640 Ac per sq. mile =
    2,152 sq. miles to park 300 million cars

    Delaware = 1,953.56 square miles
    Rhode Island = 1,044.93 square miles

    Parking 300 million cars in the U.S. would take the entire state of Delaware and 20% of the state of Rhode Island.

    Thank you all for playing!