Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Right-Sizing Parking Requirements in Metro Vancouver

West Beach Parkade in White Rock

The Metro Vancouver Regional District has completed a series of parking studies over the last decade. They have found that apartment building on-site parking supply exceeds demand throughout the region, including in Langley City. They also found that on-street parking in most residential neighbourhoods with apartments has about 65% utilization most of the time, with Saturday evening being the highest use for on-street parking, where demand can sometimes exceed supply. These studies did not look at townhouse parking rates.

Parking matters because surface parking takes up a lot of space which could be used for housing, businesses, or parks. Surface parking makes a community sprawl out, creating places where people have to drive, limiting travel choices and increasing travel costs. The cost of providing parking is around $80,000 per stall, which impacts the overall affordability of housing.

None of our most cherished neighbourhoods in Metro Vancouver meet “modern” parking requirements.

Based on the research done by Metro Vancouver and on-the-ground experience, Langley City has right-sized the number of parking spaces required for apartment, commercial, and mixed-use buildings that will be within a 10-minute walk of the future SkyTrain stations. On-site parking is still about 85% of our current bylaw requirements for these buildings.

The Metro Vancouver Regional District is now working on a comprehensive Regional Parking Strategy based on its past work. The strategy will include developing parking policies and regulations that municipalities can use as templates.

The strategy will look at:

  • Right-sizing the supply of parking spaces
  • Right-sizing parking to reduce construction costs, increase land efficiency and increase housing affordability
  • Supporting Employer parking cash-out
  • Securing bicycle parking requirements

The regional district is still working with its members to finalize the scope of the parking strategy. I think that on-street parking demand management will also need to be part of the plan.


jason said...

What do you think about not requiring parking at all? Maybe the developers can figure out how much parking they need to build for each building, which would depend on location, use, etc.

Nathan Pachal said...

I think you will start to see more of that in Metro Vancouver. Many places are putting in parking maximums. If you look at all the places that we cherish, they would all be in violation of our current parking requirements.