Austin may end requiring number of parking spaces
The change could encourage alternative transportation use.
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
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.