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Title: Problems with Parking Requirements in Zoning Ordinances

Author(s): Shoup, Donald and Don Pickrell

Published: 1978 by Traffic Quarterly, Vol. XXXII, No. 4, October, pp. 545-563. (Reprinted by the American Planning Association as Planning Advisory Service Memo 79-8, August, 1979.)

Online Access: http://ntlsearch.bts.gov/tris/record/tris/00920106.html

Abstract: Zoning ordinances requiring the provision of off-street parking for new buildings have existed since the 1920s. The usual intent is that the problem of traffic congestion in activity centers can be alleviated by accommodating vehicles in off-street facilities. The parking component of zoning ordinances usually states the number of required spaces per seat in a theatre, per dwelling unit, or per square foot of office space. Some cities also have sliding scales for commercial development, with one requirement for the first several thousand square feet of space and a lesser one for subsequent increments of space, or one requirement for the ground floor and a lesser one for the upper floors. Minimum dimensions of the required parking spaces are usually specified. Land-use zoning is frequently used in an attempt to improve resource allocation in markets other than the land market itself. The variety of effects sought by zoning is suggested by some of the goals listed in the Standard State Zoning Enabling Act; to promote health, safety, morals, or the general welfare; to lessen congestion in the streets; and to facilitate the adequate provision of transportation, water, sewage, schools, parks, and other public requirements. Examples of indirect zoning approaches to resolution of problems are common. Within the Broadway theatre district in New York City, a density bonus is given to developers who include theatre in new building. Density controls, such as floor-area rations, minimum lot sizes, and limits on the number of dwelling units per parcel, are used in an attempt to reduce traffic congestion in many cities. Requirements for a minimum number of parking spaces in new buildings are intended to improve the traffic circulation pattern by getting automobiles off the street once they have arrived at their destination.

Category: Transportation Economics     

See other articles by the author(s): Donald Shoup Don Pickrell

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