Saturday, July 27, 2013

From Slate Magazine
Free Parking Isn’t Free

Why so much parking smack-dab in the middle of Chicago’s Loop, a walkable area that’s well-served by heavy-rail transit and many buses? The culprit is a regulatory scourge so ubiquitous as to be nearly invisible: regulatory parking mandates that tax the poor to subsidize the rich while damaging the environment and the broader economy.

Rules requiring that new buildings come with parking spaces attached are so omnipresent that their absence induces confusion. A recent Boston Globe article by Casey Ross about local parking regulation was headlined “City Wants a Cutback on New Parking” and described city officials as “deliberately discouraging construction of new spaces.” What’s actually happening, as Ross’ reporting makes clear, is that officials are allowing the construction of buildings with a lower ratio of dwellings to parking spaces than previously required. Specifically, “in most cases, officials are allowing the ratio to slip to 0.75 spaces per residence,” rather than the one or two spaces that had been the previous rule. Read more: Free parking isn’t free: Parking mandates hurt America’s cities. - Slate Magazine

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