Parking countdown #9: Removing minimums is proven elsewhere
This is the second in a daily series about why the Zoning Commission should approve the Office of Planning recommendations on off-street parking.
San Fransisco is reforming their parking requirements to avoid being entirely like this. From Nelson\Nygaard.
The hearing is Thursday, July 31 at 6:30 pm. Please try to attend and testify if you can, or submit comments to the zoning commission in this thread.
Today's topic: how parking minimums have worked around the county and the world.
Many U.S. cities, from Los Angeles and Philadelphia to Boston and San Francisco to the cities of Coral Gables, Fort Myers, and Fort Pierce in Florida, have all removed parking minimums, and found great success in doing so. Nelson\Nygaard compiled a detailed report for OP about parking "best practices" around the U.S. The United Kingdom even removed all parking minimum requirements nationwide.
The nationwide trend continues to point toward fewer to no minimums. Its Market and Octavia plan turned minimums into maximums in several new neighborhoods in April, and last November, San Francisco voters overwhelmingly rejected a measure to restore minimums across the city. Then in June, San Francisco passed another set of parking reforms, unbundling parking from new housing citywide and removed minimums on housing for seniors, people with disabilities, and low-income residents. Elimination of minimums citywide is the logical conclusion of San Francisco's current path.
Opponents of the parking reform argue that DC should not adopt the draft because many cities listed in the Nelson\Nygaard report reduced parking requirements in targeted downtown districts rather than citywide. But those cities listed in the report have had remarkable success with parking policies just like those in this proposal. Just because other cities have not implemented the changes citywide does not mean they are a bad idea, or even that the cities in question had any clear reasons for limiting parking.
DC will not be alone. San Francisco and the other cities are rapidly catching up. And we should be a leader in this area, not just because we are a great city that should become a model across the nation, but also because we are in a better position for citywide parking reform. The District of Columbia is different from Portland, Milwaukee, and all the others. It has a vastly superior rail transit system, a comprehensive bus network, and the second highest percentage in the United States of commuters who get to work without driving.
Every resident has alternatives to driving. Not all will choose those alternatives, and we should not force them to. But artificially mandating land for car storage, whether or not market conditions warrant it, is foolish. In particular, it is the public policy of DC, and a tenet of the Comprehensive Plan, to encourage non-automobile use in areas adjacent to Metrorail stations. We have made multibillion-dollar capital investments in our rail infrastructure. Parking requirements undermine that investment by forcing Please write comments for the Zoning Commission here and testify on the 31st.
Please write comments for the Zoning Commission here and testify on the 31st.
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