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Houston is planning to increase the area without parking requirements to include Midtown(r/houston)
Excited to see this. Parking minimums are one of the main impediments to walkability. They impose huge, sometime insurmountable financial and logistical burdens on businesses of all sizes. And, somewhat unexpectedly, parking requirements generate traffic by creating urban areas where people are expected to drive and park directly at every destination they visit. A lot of Houston traffic comes not from commuters but from people going on short trips, say to buy some groceries and go to a restaurant. Our current regulatory environment separates out these uses, so you have to drive to the grocery store, park, then to the restaurant, park again, etc., when all of these uses could be more efficiently combined into a singular walkable area.
Parking minimums are one of the biggest hidden subsidies in the entire American economy. The cost of providing parking—a single space in a garage costs over $16,000 to build in Houston—is subsumed into everything you purchase since developers are forced to provide it for free by the city. It’s a (significant) chunk of your rent, your food—it even deducts from your paycheck. Meanwhile, these policies have generated a city of concrete, worsening flooding, exacerbating traffic, and reducing the livability and…