San Francisco Rethinks the Costs of Parking
John Cote details the efforts of San Francisco to implement a new approach to parking as the city tackles an explosion of growth in the 21st century. First, Cote describes the problem:
This information comes as San Francisco is in the midst of one of its biggest new-housing construction booms in history, projected to add 100,000 households and more than 190,000 new jobs by 2040. If everyone arrives with a car, that’s going to be a recipe for gridlock and economic stagnation. The effects on the environment, quality of life and pedestrian safety will be substantial. The city will grind to a halt.
After noting that research proves that parking induces driving, Cote describes how planners are acting as if parking will exacerbate those problems, rather than providing any solutions. The city's primary planning effort focused on new solutions to the mobility challenges of the future is the Transportation Sustainability Program—a three-part program "designed to invest more in our transportation system, align our environmental rules with policy goals like emissions reductions and smart growth along transit, and shift choices to makes it easier for people to get around by transit, walking, biking, or carsharing," explains Cote.