Austin may end re­quir­ing num­ber of park­ing spa­ces

The change could en­cour­age alternative trans­porta­tion use.

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE - bwear@states­man.com

By BenWear

Austin might soon ditch a three-decade-old pol­icy of re­quir­ing down­town build­ings and ten­ant busi­nesses to have a min­i­mum num­ber of park­ing spa­ces tied ei­ther to square footage or the num­ber of con­dos and apart­ments in a build­ing.

Sup­port­ers of the move say the min­i­mum re­quire­ment has caused a park­ing sur­plus down­town, en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to use their cars rather than bikes, buses and rail. Take away that re­quire­ment, they say, and even­tu­ally garage park­ing will be­come a more scarce (and ex­pen­sive) re­source, en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to use alternative trans­porta­tion.

The idea is based on an Austin City Coun­cil res­o­lu­tion, spon­sored by Coun­cil Mem­ber Chris Ri­ley and passed in April. The pro­posal could come be­fore the coun­cil in Fe­bru­ary.

The coun­cil “wanted to en­cour­age use of alternative trans­porta­tion modes, and re­duce the cost of de­vel­op­ing down­town,” said Ge­orge Za­palac, the city’s devel­op­ment ser­vices man­ager.

But sev­eral down­town

DEB­O­RAH CAN­NON / AMER­I­CAN-STATES­MAN

Some say there’s a sur­plus of park­ing down­town that en­cour­ages car trips. Even if the city drops its park­ing re­quire­ment, builders may still in­clude spa­ces be­cause of mar­ket de­mand.

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