Blog Myth: We Can’t Have New Buildings Without Parking - People Will Still Have Their Cars

June 9, 2021

parking garage

When you decided where to live, you took a lot of factors into account. Price, location, amenities. If you own a car and keeping that car was important to you, you probably considered where you would park your car when making your choice. In other words, you chose based on your own personal needs and values.

Cars are useful for many, and it might seem unfathomable to you to consider living in a home without readily available and reliably located storage for your vehicle. However, not everyone wants multiple cars, or even one car! If a new building doesn’t have parking, people without cars might consider it a boon to live there precisely because it is cheaper. Others might park their car on the street. If street parking is free, streets can fill up quickly, and not having a reliable place for your car can be a headache!

It doesn’t have to be so stressful, though. Economics leads us to a solution to sharing nicely: Charge for street parking, rather than fight over it. It may feel like being nickel-and-dimed for some people, but it provides more affordable housing options for someone who doesn't need to use that resource.

The architectural fabric of any pre-war city includes many buildings without off-street parking (or, sometimes without on-street parking on narrow streets!). Many people live in these homes today, and these homes are typically a treasured, historic part of a city. Modern parking requirements remove choices and personal freedom.

art market in the street

Mandatory parking requirements also raise issues of equity: Should someone blind, or otherwise experiencing medical issues that prevent them from driving, be forced to pay for a parking spot they don’t need?

Further Reading