Fayetteville, Arkansas recently lifted their minimum parking requirements which were, as in most cities, absurdly high. “Right now we have about three parking spaces in the city for every car,” said Alderman Matthew Perry. As this article in the Fayetteville Flyer explains:
City Council members on Tuesday approved a proposal to completely eliminate minimum parking requirements for nonresidential properties. The change means new businesses in commercial areas will no longer be required to provide a set number of parking spaces for their customers.
It’s a radical shift from the belief that cities are responsible for making sure drivers have plenty of places to park while shopping and dining. Fayetteville now joins a growing number of cities across the country in adopting a new philosophy that allows businesses to consider their parking needs based on market demand, rather than city code requirements.
This wise and logical move was actually initiated by city planners:
Planning Commissioners last month criticized the laws for not considering the location of the business and for seemingly being set to satisfy peak demand instead of normal, everyday traffic.
The old laws, planners said, made it difficult to start small businesses and discouraged people from walking or riding bikes. They also resulted in a vast amount of empty parking lots that remain unused after large businesses closed or moved (Fiesta Square, the old Razorback cinema on College Avenue).
On that note, we're just over a month away from our annual #BlackFridayParking event, which tackles the issue of minimum parking requirements in an interactive way. More on that soon.