Citing sustainability goals and the potential for design flexibility, the Minneapolis, Minn., City Council voted unanimously Friday to end required parking minimums for new development in the city. The measure also increased minimums for bicycle parking and requires many new buildings, including residential, to incorporate transportation demand management (TDM) strategies in their development.
The city is the largest in the Midwest to do away with parking minimums in what looks to be a growing trend. Councilmembers said they hoped the change would help keep housing costs reasonable in the city and encourage people to use transit instead of single-occupant vehicles.
Read more here.
By Jonathan Wicks, CAPP
In this time of evolving transportation needs and consumer preferences, municipalities and developers are asking: Are old-school parking minimums applicable to today’s usage? Developers often find them inflexible, frustrating, and costly. The planning community is increasingly opposed to parking minimums, concerned that they perpetuate an auto-centric nature of American cities that dedicates more land to cars than people, housing, and quality design. Transportation planners point out that parking minimums increase the distance between destinations, making cities and towns less walkable and—subsequently—have even more parking.
Cities are beginning to respond to the need for less parking in a meaningful way by reducing or removing minimums near transit, in downtown districts, and even city-wide. In a 2020 IPMI Virtual Parking & Mobility Virtual Conference & Expo panel led by Walker Consultants’ Sue Thompson, Chrissy Mancini Nichols, and me, we’ll dive deep into parking minimums. Expect to learn the current story of trends and data around parking minimums, see real-life case studies and analysis on minimum requirements compared to demand, and build a how-to toolbox of the policies and plans for parking and the curb to take back to your project or town.
Jonathan Wicks, CAPP, is a consultant with Walker Consultants. He will present on this topic during the 2020 IPMI Virtual Parking & Mobility Conference & Expo, June 1-2, wherever you are. Click here for details and to register.
Parking minimums for new construction projects are up for debate in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, including a recent four-hour session on the topic by the city council. Elise Stolte, columnist for the Edmonton Journal newspaper, took up the topic this week with an impassioned piece about the need to control parking supply–especially in an area where it’s been more than plentiful.
“Edmonton has regulated an over-abundance of parking that is really expensive to provide.” Stolte writes. “For every new building, it requires developers to supply parking as if every day was Boxing Day at West Edmonton Mall.” She quotes a parking study that found only 7.5 percent of parking lots in the city were ever 90 percent full, and argues that developers should be required to provide some parking to avoid an under-supply, but that having citizens pay to use it is likely the way to balance available parking for those who need it with building and maintaining an excessive amount for no reason. Now, where have we heard that before?
Read the article here and let us know on Forum–what advice would you give Edmonton?
The City of Minneapolis, Minn., this week moved to eliminate off-street parking minimums throughout the city, becoming the third major U.S. municipality to do so.
One source reported that 29 percent of renting households in Minneapolis do not own cars. The move by the city is part of its Minneapolis 2040 plan, designed to reduce emissions by 80 percent by 2050. A sub-goal of that plan is to reduce local miles driven by 40 percent. Along with eliminating parking minimums, the plan prohibits auto-focused land uses near Metro stations–this includes auto repair shops–and will no longer allow gas stations or drive-throughs to be built downtown.
Read the whole story here.
San Francisco, whose minimum parking requirements for new developments date to the 1950s, is preparing to do away with them, becoming the first major U.S. city to do that.
Legislation introduced this week will do away with requirements for minimum numbers of parking spaces at new developments. City leaders say it won’t mean dramatic changes, as they’ve been working for some time to reduce car use by residents and offer developers alternatives, including providing more bike parking instead of parking for cars. Parking maximums will not be affected.
Read the whole story here.