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For decades, many American planners unquestioningly applied minimum off-street parking requirements to projects of every conceivable size, type, and context. Meanwhile, a wealth of data-oriented research has produced a growing consensus within the planning profession that the traditional approach to requiring automobile parking produces more harm than good.
In response, cities and counties have begun chipping away at their parking requirements with a variety of techniques, such as shared parking formulas and fees-in-lieu of parking. While these incremental steps have generally proven popular with developers, relatively few communities have taken the bolder step of eliminating parking requirements in part or in full.
This edition of Zoning Practice explains the need for parking reform, profiles recent reform efforts in three cities, and presents a series of strategies to help planners make the case for eliminating off-street parking requirements to residents and elected officials.
About the Author
Ben is an Associate Planner with the City of Champaign, practicing primarily in the areas of land use and active transportation. He was the project manager for Walk Champaign, Champaign's first pedestrian plan, and is currently heavily involved with Zone Champaign, the first comprehensive update to Champaign's zoning ordinance since 1996. Ben serves as a member of the APA-IL Legislative Committee.