Minimum parking requirements for residential, office, and mixed-use developments represent a hidden tax on non-drivers that subsidizes drivers. This regressive subsidy has no place in a city that has been struggling for the last eight years to reduce solo-driving and promote multi-modal transportation choices.
About a third of Philadelphians either don’t have the means to own a vehicle or simply don’t want to own one, and this is especially true of the Millennials and Baby Boomers who have been moving here in recent years. If home builders want to sell someone only a house — without an unwanted parking space bundled in — they should have the freedom to do that.
Mandating on-site parking minimums also weakens one of the region's greatest assets: SEPTA. Mandatory parking minimums exist right up against subway, regional rail, trolley, and bus stops. Rather than encourage Philadelphians to use our (quickly improving) transit network, we are discouraging them from using it.
And listen, if developers want to build on-site parking, and if the market supports it, then that's what they'll do — but only as much as people are willing to pay. People who don’t own vehicles should not be forced to subsidize their neighbors’ parking.
The 2012 zoning reforms were a good first step, eliminating mandatory parking minimums for single family homes, and reducing them in some other building categories. But the job’s still not done. Parking is still mandated for all categories of mixed-use buildings — exactly the types of buildings that home builders are targeting to low-car and no-car Millennials and Baby Boomers.
We are asking Mayoral and City Council candidates to finish the job and eliminate all mandatory parking minimums from the zoning code.