96 SECONDS OF ANIMATED ARGUMENTS AGAINST MINIMUM PARKING REQUIREMENTS, ENDORSED BY A CANADIAN CITY COUNCIL Meanwhile, in Ottawa: Foes of minimum parking requirements, particularly those hoping to bring around their perennial Internet nemeses, are getting some animated ammunition from the U.S.’s neighbors to the north. The City of Ottawa is working on an overhaul of its zoning and parking by-laws, many of which date from as long ago as 1964; the city’s Planning and Growth Management department has released a 96-second video contending that high parking minimums rob neighborhoods of character and charm, encourage bigger buildings where smaller ones might do, hinder pedestrians and cyclists, and eat up space that could be used for other purposes. “Ottawa’s growing up — it’s time our parking rules did too.“ [City of Ottawa]
With the exception of the neighborhood names, that video could just have easily described Houston, as well. I, for one, would be in favor of wholesale removal of all parking minimums and setback requirements, but you have to get past the “a stranger might park in front of my house” brigade first.
If there’s any city that’s set up to eliminate parking minimums *entirely*, it’s Houston.
In other cities, you might expect the planning and zoning folks to balk at new garages – such that the net effect is one of artificial restrictions on parking supply. But in Houston, supply always meets demand (eventually).