September 6, 2016

Ottawa: Let's Talk Parking

The City of Ottawa opened up discussion in 2015 on minimum parking requirements, which apparently hadn’t changed since the 1960’s.  The gist of the video is that storage for cars takes up a lot of urban space and helps to enshrine motordom as the default option for travel. This, the video argues, is not a great outcome for the city or its people.
Thanks to Ian for the link to Eric Jaffe at (from 2015).

Staff-prepared briefing material is HERE.

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  1. There are many problems with minimum parking requirements. Here are just a few.
    As the video shows, parking uses up valuable land, adding distance between stores, residences etc. This makes walking, cycling and transit less viable.
    For businesses, the cost of building and maintaining parking is usually passed on to all consumers and not just those who drive.
    Most parking requirements don’t take into account usage rates or availability of other parking. As an example, theatres etc are requited to provide their own parking, but many are in downtown areas where there are many office towers. Most shows etc are at night, when much of the other existing parking is not used.
    The best book I have read is ‘The High Cost of Free Parking’ by Donald Shoup. He refers to free parking as welfare for cars.

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