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Posted at 03:04 PM ET, 01/11/2013

The problem with parking minimums

Parking minimums don’t just affect parking. They have a huge impact on the overall scale of buildings. Developers that have to include off-street parking have to build bigger and bulkier buildings in order to make their projects work.

It’s true that parking minimums encourage more driving, but the impacts on urban design and architecture may be even more important. The problem is that parking lots take up a lot of space, which makes development of small properties harder.

As a result, developers faced with parking minimums always try to build on the largest piece of land possible.

So if you like old style main streets, parking minimums are the enemy.

In places without parking minimums it’s more practical to build charming narrow buildings, like those that populate historic main streets all over the country. But where parking minimums exist, developers need larger properties big enough to fit parking lots.

[Continue reading Dan Malouff’s post at BeyondDC.]

Dan Malouff is an Arlington County transportation planner who blogs independently at The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

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