As DC Plans to Abolish Parking Minimums, Pike Zoning Code Mandates More Cars

David Alpert and Matthew Yglesias have a new Opinion piece at the Washington Post arguing that DC should go forward with a proposal to amend their zoning rules to abolish minimum parking requirements.  The proposal would not prevent developers from including parking, it would simply allow them to include parking based on their judgment, rather than the judgment of bureaucrats.  The crux of their argument:

Having the government mandate a set amount of parking diminishes our future in two ways. First, the parking facilities take up space and require workers and construction materials to build. This land and labor ultimately must be paid for by renters or buyers. Paying more for a useful amenity like a parking space is fine, but it’s perverse to be required to pay for a parking space you don’t need because a developer had to include it to get permission to build your home.

Seems sensible.  What does the “Smart Growth” oriented Columbia Pike Form Based Code do?

Contain a requirement to add more parking spaces for new developments along the Pike.  The FBC is a document that is sure to please the car-centrics at AAA.  It’s explicit goals:  “Enable people to park…Maximize on-street parking…Increase visibility and accessibility of parking…”

Sadly, more proof that to the Arlington County Board, “Smart Growth” is mostly rhetoric.  Mandating more car-centered development is sure to lead to more traffic headaches along Columbia Pike, regardless of what transit improvements are done.  The FBC should be immediately amended to follow the sensible advice in the Post and abolish parking minimums.

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