Cities that have eliminated parking minimums focus on downtowns and transit corridors
While a number of cities have taken steps to improve the efficiency of land utilization by reducing or eliminating minimum parking requirements, only three have been found that have opted for total elimination citywide – all have extensive transit systems and a history of surplus parking.
Most cities have used the elimination of parking minimums as one of several methods employed, based on documented local conditions. When cities have decided to remove all off-street parking requirements, it has almost always been done in downtown cores and in areas with frequent public transit.
Beginning with analyses published online at ParkingPolicy.com and StrongTowns.org – both proponents of parking reform – and updated with original research on the various cities’ web sites, the following table lists 20 examples of cities that have reduced or eliminated minimum parking requirements. The fifteen with the city name in bold have focused changes on downtowns and transit corridors. The six in italics have changed requirements for residential properties.
|Portland, OR||Eliminated minimum parking requirements within 500 feet of a transit line with a certain service frequency.|
|Eugene, OR||Eliminated minimum parking requirements in downtown.|
|Ashland, OR||No parking minimums in downtown zone.|
|Tigard, OR||No parking minimum in the Tigard Triangle, a 550-acre mixed-use zone slated for light rail service. Parking reductions and on-street parking credits apply to residential zones.|
|Seattle, WA||Eliminated minimum parking requirements in downtown and for affordable housing units (up to 80% AMI). Reduced standards in certain areas with frequent transit service and for certain types of developments, such as for seniors. Allows for shared parking arrangements in certain circumstances. Requires the unbundling of parking in leases for new development, so renters only pay for spaces they use.|
|Tacoma, WA||Eliminated minimum parking requirements throughout the downtown core.|
|Olympia, WA||No parking minimums within the Downtown Exempt Parking Area for new residential projects and new commercial construction or expansion over 3,000 square feet.|
|Yakima, WA||No minimum parking requirements for commercial properties in the downtown business district.|
|Bozeman, MT||Eliminated minimum parking requirements in the Midtown Urban Renewal District. Set maximums in commercial areas.|
|San Francisco, CA||Eliminated minimum parking requirements and implemented car-sharing, secure bicycle parking, and unbundling policies.|
|Sacramento, CA||No minimum parking requirements for the Central Business District, the Arts & Entertainment District, and commercial projects smaller than 6,400 square feet in the Central City. Other requirements based on neighborhood context, access to alternative transportation modes, and existing parking supplies in the area. Projects with certified transportation management plans can reduce parking by 35%.|
|Minneapolis, MN||Removed minimums in the downtown area and replaced with maximums (required accessible and visitor spaces not counted in maximums). Reduced minimums for all other residential uses to 1 space per dwelling unit (except no additional spaces required for ADUs).|
|Milwaukee, WI||No off-street parking required in downtown zoning districts and some redevelopment districts. No off-street spaces required for single- and two-family residences; maximum of 4 spaces.|
|Champaign, IL||Eliminated parking requirements for multi-family dwellings in the University District, which has excellent transit service and cycling and sidewalk infrastructure, and where most residents attend the nearby university. (Parking vacancy rates of 20–40% had been reported at apartment building parking lots.)|
|Nashville, TN||Eliminated minimum parking requirements within the 600-acre downtown core.|
|Cincinnati, OH||Reduced and eliminated parking minimum requirements in the central business district.|
|Buffalo, NY||Eliminated minimum parking requirements in 2017. Over the next two years, 36 developments built 21% fewer spaces than under the old requirements. Of these, 14 mixed-use projects built 53% fewer spaces, relying instead on shared parking agreements, while 19 single-use projects built more parking than would have been required, including 14 residential projects that built 17% more spaces and 4 commercial projects that built 64% more spaces than under the old rules.|
|New York, NY||Eliminated minimum parking requirements for affordable units in downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn.|
|Washington, DC||Eliminated minimum parking requirements in high-density downtown areas and reduced parking requirements in transit-rich areas outside of downtown.|
|Edmonton, AB||Eliminated minimum parking requirements. Set maximums for downtown, transit-oriented projects, and main street areas. Allowed for shared parking. Increased bicycle parking requirements. Accessible parking required at existing rates.|
Parking Requirements & Unbundling at: <https://parkingpolicy.com/reduced-requirements/>.
Progress on Parking Minimum Removals Across the Country at: <https://www.strongtowns.org/parking>.
Original research on the web sites of the cities listed.
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