Bend residents oppose eliminating minimum off-street parking requirements
The recent community survey on the web site DoesParkingMatter.com about off-street parking requirements was completed by 1,195 people. The large number of responses indicates a substantial degree of public interest in the issue, compared to other online surveys regarding city policies conducted over the last decade.
The survey was sponsored by an ad hoc group of community volunteers who are active in monitoring the City’s land use policies. It was not a City-sponsored survey.
The results showed strong opposition to the idea of eliminating minimum off-street parking requirements in Bend for both residential and commercial properties:
Should the City of Bend eliminate the requirement that new housing (single-family, duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, townhomes, cottage clusters, apartments) provide a minimum number of off-street parking spaces?
Should the City of Bend eliminate the requirement that businesses provide a minimum number of off-street parking spaces?
Respondents also rejected the proposition that the City should reduce the parking supply as a way to change driving behavior or that doing so would be effective:
Should the City of Bend reduce the parking supply to force a change in behavior in order to lower parking demand?
Do you believe that if the parking supply is reduced, motorists will shift to walking, biking, or taking the bus instead?
Participation in the online survey was voluntary, so it does not represent a statistically valid random sample.
Since respondents were more likely to own their residence than the typical Bend household, a Chi-squared test of the cross-tabulations was conducted on each of the questions above. The test showed that the actual responses of owners versus renters on these questions were similar to what would have been expected from a random sample.
Given the level of community interest in minimum off-street parking requirements, the survey sponsors recommend that the City of Bend use multiple methods of public input, including listening sessions, open houses, and a statistically valid community survey before adopting new policies. This would be in line with Council goals to build trust through greater community engagement.
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