Shoup To APA: Let Planners Lead on Parking Requirements

Donald Shoup explains his disappointment with the American Planning Association's opposition to California legislation (AB 904), that would cap minimum parking requirements.
October 8, 2012, 9am PDT | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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"I have spent the last 35 years working ineffectively to reform American parking policies, especially minimum parking requirements in zoning ordinances," writes UCLA Professor and parking expert Donald Shoup, who is author of the book, The High Cost of Free Parking (one of Planetizen's Top Books in 2006).

"This year I thought my time had come when Assembly Bill 904 (The Sustainable Minimum Parking Requirements Act of 2012) was introduced in the California Legislature."

"AB 904 would cap minimum parking requirements at 1 space per dwelling unit or 2 spaces per 1,000 square feet of commercial space in transit-intensive districts, which the bill defined as areas within a quarter-mile of transit lines that run every 15 minutes or better. Although AB 904 would limit how much off-street parking cities could require, it would not "restrain" off-street parking; if the market demands more parking, developers could always provide it.

"...I was disappointed when the California Chapter of the American Planning Association opposed AB 904 and lobbied against it in the Legislature. Cal APA argued that AB 904 "would restrict local agencies' ability to require parking in excess of statewide ratios for transit intensive areas unless the local agency makes certain findings and adopts an ordinance to opt out of the requirement... AB 904 gave planners an opportunity to lead, but instead the APA insisted on local control over parking requirements regardless of any larger consequences." 

Editor's note: The links below are to a Word document version of this article, and to the ITEA's PDF newsletter (Shoup's article begins on page 8).
Also of interest are a variety of letters (PDF, 5MB) from mayors and academics supporting AB 904, and the letter from the California APA opposing the Bill.
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Published on Sunday, October 7, 2012 in International Transportation Economics Association
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