Parking reform progresses in Raleigh, NC

On Tuesday January 18th, Raleigh’s Text Change subcommittee approved zoning code language that would repeal costly car parking mandates citywide and apply parking maximums for many uses. The next step in the process, which was initiated by Raleigh city council in June, is for the proposal to be heard by the whole Planning Commission in February, after which it would go back to city council for approval and implementation.

Reforms to car parking requirements are increasingly common. The Parking Reform Network is tracking this process and other efforts on the Parking Mandates Map. Check it out to see how other cities have improved their parking policy and to see a detailed report on Raleigh’s campaign or to submit a report on your own city.

Raleigh, NC Skyline Photo by Higgins Spooner on Unsplash

Raleigh’s parking mandate repeal would be accomplished by simply replacing the word “min” with “max” in the table of parking requirements, however the proposal does exempt many of the land uses from strict maximum entitlements. In the High Cost of Free Parking, Donald Shoup suggests: “If we want to reduce traffic congestion, energy consumption, and air pollution, the simplest and most productive single reform of American zoning would be to declare that all existing off-street parking requirements are maximums rather than minimums, without changing any of the numbers…”

The Parking Reform Network is an international organization with a mission to educate the public about the impact of parking policy on climate change, housing, and traffic. The network provides support and a community for activists and practitioners in any field that experiences “parking problems.” Support the network by donating or becoming a member.

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