Trend Toward Reduced Parking Requirements For U.S. Cities

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Developers say that parking requirements make it more difficult to build affordable housing in high-cost cities like Chicago, Washington, D.C., and New York City.

Trend Toward Reduced Parking Requirements For U.S. Cities

Photo: Dean Hochman/Creative Commons.

August 09, 2016

In recent years, cities including New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Portland, Ore., and Fayetteville, Ark., have reduced or eliminated required parking spaces on major developments. Many of these developments are located near mass transit stations and/or are affordable housing projects. In New York, the city eliminated parking requirements for low-income, “inclusionary” (with some units going to low- or middle-income families), and affordable senior housing developments that are within a half-mile of mass transit.

Chicago recently expanded areas targeted for transit-oriented development with parking requirements made minimal or eliminated. In January, Washington, D.C., reduced parking requirements for multi-family buildings and commercial buildings near metro stations and along high-speed bus routes. Last year, Fayetteville, Arkansas eliminated parking minimums for every new building except homes.

Developers say that parking requirements increase costs, making it more difficult to build affordable housing, especially in high-cost cities.

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