How to Accelerate Parking Reform in U.S. Cities - Streetsblog
To get more cities to finally reform their outdated parking standards, we need to stop talking about “taking away” spots and focus on what we all stand to gain, like an accelerated path to ending climate change.
That’s one of the findings of a new report from the Institute for Transportation Development and Policy, which examines the perennial question of how to build support for common-sense parking reforms, such as rationally pricing spaces, removing minimum parking requirements for developers, and more readily allowing residents to use empty curbside asphalt for literally anything else.
But unlike the countless studies that have used stats to outline the benefits of cutting car storage — from reducing emissions to curing congestion to curbing VMT and on and on — this study instead explored the messaging and organizing tactics that might actually sway those who most often stand in the way. (Think: your change-resistant mayors, business owners, financial lenders, and local drivers who are most resistant to reform.)
“At this point, parking reform is a political issue more than a policy issue,” said researcher and People for Bikes alum Martha Roskowski, who was the lead author on the report. “We know exactly what we need to do, based on the work of academics like Donald Shoup. To me, it’s about mustering the will to take it on in the face of opposition that cuts across all these demographics.”
To understand what an effective parking reform effort actually looks like, Roskowski and her collaborator, the Institute’s Michael Kodransky, identified 40 experts who have been in the trenches of the debate for years, such as the National Association of City Transportation Officials and grassroots organizations like Portlanders for Parking Reform.