Increasing the Amount of Parking Required is Counterproductive

By Dom Nozzi

In the mid-2000s, the Gainesville (Florida) City Plan Board submitted a proposal to increase the amount of parking required of new developments. There are a number of reasons why such a proposal is ruinous for Gainesville. The proposal sickens me as a city planner.

The following will be some of the consequences of the City of Gainesville increasing the amount of parking required for developments within the city.

Increased suburban sprawl, which directly contradicts an objective I had written for the Future Land Use Element of Gainesville’s adopted long-range plan.

Increased stormwater pollution.

Increased flooding.

Increased “heat island effect.”

Increased auto dependency.

Increased per capita car use.

Less walkable neighborhoods and commercial areas, which directly contradicts an objective I had written for the Future Land Use Element of Gainesville’s adopted long-range plan.

Increased political demand for bigger roads.

Increased pressure to build and enlarge Big Box retail in the Gainesville area.

Increased number of injuries and deaths due to increased car use.

Increased gasoline consumption in the city.

Increased household transportation costs.

Increased loss of natural features paved over by asphalt, which directly contradicts two objectives I had written for the Future Land Use Element of Gainesville’s adopted long-range plan.

Reduced transportation choice, which directly contradicts an objective I had written for the Future Land Use Element of Gainesville’s adopted long-range plan.

Reduced neighborhood quality of life, which directly contradicts an objective I had written for the Future Land Use Element of Gainesville’s adopted long-range plan.

Reduced neighborhood compatibility with nearby commercial, which directly contradicts two objectives I had written for the Future Land Use Element of Gainesville’s adopted long-range plan.

Reduced property values.

Reduced residential densities within the city.

Increased air pollution.

Reduced bus ridership, walking, and bicycling.

Increased single-occupant-vehicle (SOV) travel, which directly contradicts a goal and objective I had written for the Transportation Mobility Element of Gainesville’s adopted long-range plan.

Increased cost to agencies, organizations, businesses, who must provide an increased amount of parking.

Increased number of instances in which a business cannot be created, renovated, or expanded due to inability to increase parking.

Increased per capita consumption of land.

Reduced amount of market demand for mixed-use development, which directly contradicts two objectives and five goals I had written for the Future Land Use Element, five goals and six objectives I had written for the Transportation Mobility Element, and two goals and nine objectives I had written for the Urban Design Element of Gainesville’s adopted long-range plan.

In sum, if there is one change in our Land Development Code that more overwhelmingly and comprehensively subverts our Comprehensive Plan than increased parking requirements, I am not aware of it.

What are the benefits that would outweigh the above harms when we go ahead and increase our already excessive parking requirements?

Does Gainesville’s adopted city long-range plan mean anything? Or is the long-range plan adopted to be ignored?

Does it mean anything that all of the planning literature over the past 25 years strongly argues against increasing parking requirements—parking requirements that are already excessive in Gainesville?

What ever happened to the alleged efforts of the City of Gainesville to be “business friendly” (increasing parking requirements would substantially increase burdens to business—particularly small, local business).

Is city planning a waste of time?

_____________________________________________________

My memoir can be purchased here:

Paperback = http://goo.gl/9S2Uab Hardcover =  http://goo.gl/S5ldyF

The Car is the Enemy of the City (WalkableStreets, 2010), can be purchased here: http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/the-car-is-the-enemy-of-the-city/10905607

Visit my urban design website read more about what I have to say on those topics. You can also schedule me to give a speech in your community about transportation and congestion, land use development and sprawl, and improving quality of life.

Visit: www.walkablestreets.wordpress.com

Or email me at: dom@walkablestreets.com

Visit my other sites:

Road to Ruin can be purchased here:

http://www.amazon.com/Road-Ruin-Introduction-Sprawl-Cure/dp/0275981290

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http://domnozziadventures.wordpress.com/

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My Town & Transportation Planning website

http://walkablestreets.wordpress.com/

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http://domz60.wordpress.com/

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