Monday, September 16, 2013

Minimum Parking Requirements

Earlier this year, I read the book “The High Cost of Free Parking” by Donald Shoup which provides a critique on parking policy in Canadian and American cities. Shoup notes that much of the built-form we see in our communities is a result of overly generous parking requirements. He also notes that because parking is free when most people are parking a vehicle (Shoup actually show how the cost of parking is bundled into almost every transaction we make), the marketplace becomes distorted and we end up with empty parking lots and over-subscribed on-street parking. One of Shoup’s solutions is to introduce performance-based on-street paid parking, so that minimum parking requirements can be relaxed or eliminated. You can read more about how Shoup's ideas could be applied in the Langley City in a post I wrote in June.

Anyway, the Seattle-based Sightline Institute has a blog series called “Parking? Lots!” which exams parking polices. One of the posts contains an animations on how minimum parking requirements are determined in the US and Canada.

Driving in Circles from Don Baker on Vimeo.

Motion graphic showing the misleading the process that results in city requirements for more and more off-street parking.

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