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Less Parking = More Affordable Housing?

Todd Litman has been my go-to expert on international transit issues and now he comments on how cars impact affordable housing as well:

"Few cities mandate housing for people, but most city zoning codes mandate generous amounts of housing (parking) for automobiles in most locations. This is inefficient and unfair; it significantly increases automobile ownership and use, and reduces development densities, beyond what would occur if motorists paid directly for parking, and it forces households that own fewer than average vehicles to cross-subsidize their neighbors who own more than average vehicles.

The impacts are large: a typical urban parking spaces has a total annualized cost (including land, construction, maintenance and enforcement) of $500-1,500, and more for structured parking, and there are estimated to be between two and eight parking spaces per automobile. This is particularly harmful to lower-income households that want more affordable housing and own fewer than average vehicles.

Many experts now recommend that cities apply reduced and more flexible parking requirements."

What do you think?

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