A Continuing Role for Minimum Parking Requirements in a Dense Growing City? Evidence from New York City
23 Pages Posted: 28 Apr 2010
Date Written: April 22, 2010
Many cities throughout the United States require developers of new residential construction to also provide off-street parking, presumably to ensure that new projects absorb any additional parking demand. However, these requirements may potentially increase housing costs directly and indirectly by bundling parking with new housing and reducing the number of units developers can fit on a lot. They may also reduce the subsequent costs of car ownership, increasing car-use and associated externalities. Our research explores the role of minimum parking requirements in New York City, given its shortage of affordable housing and the emphasis policymakers have placed on sustainable growth. After a review of their history, we use lot-level data to calculate and map two measures of parking requirements to better understand their intersection with transit accessibility and development opportunity. Our results indicate that the per-unit parking requirement is generally lower in areas near rail transit, consistent with the City’s development goals. However, we also find that the required number of spaces per square foot of lot area is generally higher in transit accessible areas. This raises the possibility that parking requirements are working counter to the city’s stated development goals in transit-accessible neighborhoods.
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