The Paradox of Minimum Parking Requirements for Bars and Taverns

Zoning codes that mandate a certain number of parking spaces for businesses that serve on-site alcoholic beverages are inconsistent with law enforcement's campaign against drunk driving, says Eric de Place.
July 22, 2011, 2pm PDT | Jeff Jamawat
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The parking-to-floor area ratio in Vancouver, BC, is 1-to-60; Seattle and Portland, 1-to-250; and Boise, Ida., 1-to-300. With this ratio, "bars in Portland and Seattle are legally obligated to provide almost as much on-site parking as they set aside for customers," de Place points out.

He continues, "There's no better measure of our perverse relationship with cars than the fact that nearly every city and town in North America has laws requiring drinking establishments to provide parking, and yet roadside memorials to victims of drunk driving are mostly illegal."

De Place's solution? Make the existing requirement zero. "It's that easy," he says.

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Published on Tuesday, July 19, 2011 in Sightline Daily
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