Minimum Parking Requirements: How the USA is Rethinking Parking
For many years, American residents primarily choose private vehicles. No wonder authorities built hordes of parking spaces to keep up with the high number of vehicles on the streets. Even the parking regulation mandated minimum parking requirements. Any new parking facility had to include a stipulated number of off-street parking spots and assign a special parking zone for the assumed demand.
Such a regulation landed them with an excess of parking spaces – more than four parking spots for a car, to be precise. Due to this, parking areas take up one-third of the land in any country, which we could use to increase the green cover or build public parks.
However, looking at the present scenario in the U.S., where more of its citizens are turning towards public transportation, authorities seem to be reworking its minimum parking requirements.
Reforming Minimum Parking – Starting with Buffalo
An automobile is America's top preference for transportation. Buffalo city in New York state also had minimum parking and zoning code. These stipulations were inflexible, ensuring ample parking at malls, restaurants, hospitals, offices, and other venues. However, the disadvantage of this practice caused half of Buffalo to turn into parking lots.
In 2017, Once the authorities realized this fate, they ensured that Buffalo became the first city in the U.S. to remove minimum parking and zoning requirements. Once the government officials brought in this reform and pushed for a new Green Code, they observed a change in construction and people's behavior. Plans to extend the green cover and construct public parks could be fast-tracked with fewer parking spots.
As citizens, this new parking reform pushed for selecting public transport as a priority. Taking inspiration from Buffalo, other cities like Connecticut, Santa Monica, Hartford, Raleigh, Richmond, San Diego, and Salt Lake City follow suit.
Repurposing Land Once Encroached by Parking
With Buffalo's minimum parking requirements, parking spaces in front of historic buildings, shopping markets, and industrial structures are being repurposed for housing, business parks, or to create small neighborhoods. In addition, car-centric urban planning allows for more green spaces and encourages active living.
Even Portland in Oregon has implemented minimum parking requirements for residential development. Suddenly more space is available for residents, thus making city living smarter.
Also Read: How Can A Car Parking App Save Millions
Government authorities are letting go of minimum parking and zoning requirements. Off-street parking will become an option instead of Land-grabbing. As a result, parking owners will construct parking spaces based on real demand and not assumed demand.
City authorities reclaim a ton of space by doing this, but it will also save parking owners a great deal of money. Typically, constructing one parking lot in Los Angeles costs the owner at least $ 50,000. This whopping cost is borne by all stakeholders, including car owners who pay high parking prices.
Fortunately, new parking reforms are slowly gaining traction. As a result, several American cities are looking forward to a landscape designed for their citizens rather than their vehicles.
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