A post on StreetsBlog today pointed me to a great graphic that shows the amount of office parking required by city governments across the US. From the post:
Architect Seth Goodman is on a mission to illustrate the absurdity of parking requirements…showing mandatory parking requirements for office buildings in different American cities
The cities with the best policies — by which I mean those that require the least amount of parking for offices — include: Seattle, Chicago, DC, Denver, Portland and Pittsburgh.
Atlanta falls in the not-so-cool end of the list, with about 330 spaces required for every 3250 sq ft of office. Things could be worse; we could be Austin or Albuquerque, which appear to be dead set on paving their entire cities.
But things could be much better, too. Atlanta appears to be the only city with heavy rail transit in that lower third of the list, and one of my biggest peeves is the way MARTA is put at a disadvantage by policies that give giving cars such an edge over alternative transit.
Reducing parking requirements is an elemental part of making better urban spaces. According to the EPA (and common sense), high parking requirements:
…can deter compact, mixed-use development and redevelopment in older neighborhoods. Furthermore, large expanses of surface parking and stand-alone parking structures can discourage walking and make driving the only viable transportation between destinations.