ITDP brings you a monthly digest of sustainable transport and urban development news from around the world. From Chicago’s parking-lite apartments to Mumbai’s new parking policy, this month’s InFocus is all about revolutionary parking reforms introduced by cities across the globe.
Parking is a mystery. Many governments push for more parking in buildings, but rather than alleviating the parking problem, it leads to massive traffic jams, severe air pollution, and more road deaths. Under the illusion that density creates congestion, governments also control building density. What they miss is that parking, not density, creates traffic congestion. An excessive supply of cheap parking induces people to use personal motor vehicles—even when good public transport is provided.
Many cities across the world are now realising their past mistakes. They now follow a simple mantra: build transit, add density, cut parking. Put another way, where there is good connectivity to mass rapid transit, building density is welcome but parking is not. Parking fees are pegged to parking demand. When demand increases, the fee also increases. Parking revenue is used to build better walking and cycling infrastructure and to expand public transport.
Chicago:New zoning ordinance cuts parking minimums in half
Many new parking-lite apartments are rising along the Chicago Transit Authority’s rail lines, thanks to a recent change to the city’s zoning ordinance that has made it easier to build buildings with significantly lower parking requirements near rapid transit. Streetsblog reports.
Mumbai introduces progressive parking policy
From demand-based charging of on-street parking to new regulations on off-street parking, Mumbai takes a bold move to manage parking in the city. Though the implementation of the new on-street parking system—which sought to encourage the use of public transport—set off a fierce debate , the details of the policy, as reported by Times of India, are definitely noteworthy. The city is also tackling off-street parking head-on by slashing parking minimums near rapid transit stations. Midday reports.
Parking spots to Parklets: SF’s secret to increasing foot-traffic
The phenomenon turning parking spaces into “parklets” in San Francisco has led to greater foot traffic and higher sales for the units establishing and running such parklets. The New York Times captures the details.