D.C. Backtracks on Parking Reform

Opponents to a proposal to eliminate parking minimums in certain areas of D.C. have been heard. In order to smooth approval of the city's massive zoning overhaul, planners will reduce minimums in some areas rather than eliminate them.

No sooner had D.C. planners been lauded for their efforts to push through progressive parking reform than the political winds turned against them. Mike DeBonis reports on the announcement late last week by Harriet Tregoning, director of the Office of Planning, that the city has chosen to rollback efforts to abolish parking minimums in some areas due to community opposition. "Tregoning disclosed the change during an interview Friday on WAMU-FM, where she acknowledged she had got 'a lot of feedback' about the parking changes. 'It’s certainly in response to what we’ve heard from a lot of people,' she said."

"In a subsequent interview, Tregoning said the planning office still intended to pursue elimination of parking minimums downtown and in fast-growing, close-in neighborhoods such as the Southwest Waterfront and NoMa," adds DeBonis. "But in other areas eyed for the change, she said, the minimums would be 'substantially' reduced rather than eliminated entirely."

In Greater Greater Washington, David Alpert argues that "[t]his change isn't the right policy; it's just a political choice."

"Why would this change engender any greater harmony, when OP has watered down its proposals several times in the last 5 years, never to any effect?" he asks. "Intransigence has paid off for those who opposed the zoning update since day one. They have managed to delay the update by at least a year, and bully the Office of Planning into successive rounds of scaling back."
Full Story: D.C. planners drop proposal to end minimum parking rule for developers


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