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Recent Parking Reform: Start of a Wave of Change?
Michael Andersen looks at new developments in parking reform as it moves, in his words, from the "realm of the radical" to that of "early adopters, the ones who know a good idea when they see it even though it’s off-the-wall."
San Francisco and Minneapolis recently voted down parking mandates for residential developments. While Buffalo, New York, and Harford, Connecticut, took action last year to eliminate minimum parking requirements, Andersen says those cities were motivated by underinvestment and a desire to spur economic activity after the Great Recession.
Meanwhile, San Francisco and Minneapolis are cities with booming economies where the lift on parking mandates will help funnel money into housing development and provide some relief to residents facing affordability challenges.
Andersen believes these changes happening in both larger and smaller cities set a good example for cities across the country:
It proves parking reform is not just a good idea for cities with very different problems, it’s also politically feasible in cities with very different problems. Minneapolis and San Francisco show the way for booming Cascadian cities like Seattle and Richmond. Hartford and Buffalo set examples for flagging ones like Anchorage and Aberdeen.
He hopes the momentum continues and these early milestones will pave the way for other cities considering similar parking reform.