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  • Writer's pictureStuart Cohen

Parking Revolution: Housing Solution. TransForm’s New Guide to Parking Reform

Updated: Aug 1, 2023


The housing crisis is daunting, yet we can make one big policy change that can lead to cascading benefits for housing, equity, and our climate.


For over 70 years, cities have required new developments to build an excessive amount of parking. These lots and garages are expensive to build, reduce the space available for more homes or amenities, and generate more traffic and pollution.


Fortunately, as part of the state’s intensifying focus on solving the housing crisis, cities were required to analyze whether their parking rules will constrain their ability to meet housing targets over the next eight years. TransForm studied and commented on 30 of these plans, urging cities to reevaluate outdated parking policies. Ultimately, 18 of these cities concluded that parking is a constraint and most committed to revising their regulations as soon as 2024.


That means now is the time to speak out against harmful parking mandates and for strategies that meet our affordable housing and climate goals.


Join the Parking Revolution


TransForm’s new guide, Parking Revolution: Housing Solution, will help you understand the context, the key solutions, and how you can best advocate for smart parking strategies. In the guide, you will find great tips, such as how to:

  1. Know whether your city is considering parking reform.

  2. Contact city planning staff to ask about the timeline and the planning process.

  3. Get engaged and advocate for smart solutions.

Many of the solutions are clear. The most important change is to reduce or eliminate minimum parking requirements, especially in areas near services and for senior- and low-income housing where parking needs have been proven to be low. Cities can also allow more shared parking or request developers to include free transit passes, bike share, or other alternatives in new developments. Finally, cities can require that new apartments and condos separate the cost of parking from rent. Such “unbundling” can reduce demand for parking and gives people who don’t own a car (or a second car) a chance to save money and instead rely on more affordable transportation.


The parking revolution will help create more affordable homes, helping redress racial and social inequities while reducing climate pollution. Won’t you join us? Read the new guide or email Housing@transformca.org to get more information.



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