For years, American cities have required businesses to provide an amount of parking based on the anticipated peak demand. That peak demand is commonly believed to be "Black Friday", the day after Thanksgiving. Cities seemingly disregard any notion that businesses may not find it in their interests to devote valuable space and limited resources to providing parking spots that will only be used once or twice a year (or never). Ostensibly the greater apostasy -- from a regulatory standpoint -- would be for a driver to show up in their automobile this Friday and not be able to quickly find a place to park. To avoid that horror, we will set aside all of our "pro-businesses" inklings and roll out the red tape of parking minimums.
Fortunately, many cities have repealed minimum parking requirements. Many more are considering taking such a step. Let's give them a push by helping them see the folly of their ways.
This Friday when you are out and about -- or if you want to venture out for the good of the team -- take a photo of the parking lot at your local mall, Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy or other Black Friday retailer. Do what you can to capture the vast amount of unused parking space that is likely to be there. Then tweet the photo along with the city/state and the hashtag #BlackFridayParking.
We'll have a live feed here on Friday. When the day is done, we will collection the submissions and share them somewhere that everyone can get at them.
Getting rid of minimum parking requirements is an easy step any city can take towards building a strong town. Let's help build momentum for all the cities that have yet to take this important baby step.
on 2013-11-27 18:03 by Charles Marohn
Just had a quick question about those not on Twitter.... Yeah, if you aren't on Twitter, post your submissions on the Strong Towns Network and we'll incorporate them there. Or you can email my already overflowing inbox at email@example.com.