Want transit to work? Kill the parking lot!
In case you’ve not been paying to much attention to the topic, as most people probably haven’t, the topic of parking in Toronto is becoming a pretty big deal at city hall and at neighborhood association meetings. One of the big reasons for this is the huge increase in condo developments hitting our fair city.
Every condo that is being built these days requires that a minimum amount of parking be provided for the residents. The question logically that follows…does this type of regulation really still make sense?
When a transit expansion is underway to help reduce automobile dependence, parking requirements for all of these new buildings oddly seem to incentivize new residents to continue to drive. Does this not then exactly counteract the city goals for increased use of public transit?
Parking requirements seem especially insane in a city centre where people are in fact paying a premium to live in a place where they really don’t need a full time vehicle and are implicitly close to transit.
The long and the short of it is that new solutions need to be considered and tested for real improvements in parking to take place. Building more parking lots do not equate with progress.
New solutions like shared parking and shared vehicle use seem to be a much better place to start if we really want to effect change. Mobile parking apps like Rover Parking allow for the burden of parking supply to be completely removed from the responsibility of both political and urban planning mandates.
Shared parking models create a competently distributed parking infrastructure. Allowing more choice for those who do drive. With a distributed parking infrastructure, transit can be accessed more easily and from more convenient locations. Driving routes become shorter as do the resulting fuel consumption and emissions and options for overall mobility can take a huge dent out of big issues like congestion.