Via Yonah Freemark (via Councilmember Lisa Bender’s Facebook page), here’s a map of what Chicago’s minimum parking requirements would look like if they adopted the recently proposed “Minneapolis minimums” along transit lines.
It is important to note that a zoning change eliminating parking requirements is not the same as a parking maximum, which is a policy already in place for some areas of central Chicago. The changes in parking minimums proposed in Minneapolis allow developers creating new units to adapt their parking provisions to the demands of expected future residents, not to arbitrarily build parking even for people who won’t use it. In other words, developments can be customized to ensure that they are most effective for the people who need them.
There is more work to be done to determine whether a Minneapolis-style zoning change is appropriate for Chicago, or whether our city should adopt a different policy. But evidence suggests that new projects are being required to provide too much parking. For example, within a half-mile of the Chicago Transit Authority Red Line north of Belmont, 50 percent of renter households have no vehicles at all. Yet the vast majority of the land in that area requires at least one parking space per housing unit. We’re requiring the overprovision of parking, and residents are paying the cost because of it.
It’s nice to see planning ideas flowing from Minneapolis into the rest of the US. (Maybe the good ideas can stop in Saint Paul on their way East?)