Pros & Cons

10 Pros & Cons of Eliminating Off-Street Parking Requirements

For more information, please see the Additional Reading section on the Background page.

Arguments for Eliminating Parking RequirementsReasons to Preserve Parking Requirements
Helps right-size parkingWhile right-sizing is consistent with Bend’s Transportation System Plan policy #39, which requires a data-driven approach based on behavior and parking demand, no such data supports total elimination of parking requirements.
Prevents wasting spaceBend has reduced off-street parking standards and added “credits” to prevent “wasted space” since 2006.
Less vehicle storage neededBend has a high rate of vehicle ownership (1.9/household) due to outdoor recreation opportunities, winter weather, and limited pubic transit. Vehicle ownership has gone up and less parking won’t push people out of their cars.
Improves equity for people without carsOnly 5% of Bend households do not have a car. Since home prices and rents are set by the market and not by construction costs, eliminating off-street spaces benefits developers and landlords, not owners or renters.
Helps people with low-income, those with disabilities, and the elderlyHousing units without parking discriminate against these groups; if they have cars, either they won’t have access to those units or the units won’t meet their needs (e.g., a person with disabilities may need parking near the door).
Removes cost barrierFor single-family and middle-housing types of homes, surface parking is less that 1% of building costs, while garages make up less than 4% of costs. Small savings on the cost of off-street spaces is offset by the marketing problem of renting or selling units without parking.
Allows more housingIn-fill housing has already occurred in Bend without eliminating parking requirements, and few in-fill opportunities remain. Cities that incentivize redevelopment have seen housing that was affordable replaced with expensive new housing. Bend needs to preserve existing affordable housing and avoid gentrification.
Incentivizes alternative transportationA long list of existing incentives has failed to generate a shift in how people get around.
Supports Urbanism movementBend remains a suburban-style city without a true urban core. Most new housing will be built at the edge of the city. Less parking won’t change this.
Promotes walkable neighborhoodsTo be walkable, neighborhoods need “work” and “retail” elements. Efforts to add them to existing neighborhoods has not and will not happen for financial feasibility reasons.

For more information, please see the Additional Reading section on the Background page.

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