Whether you're a city staffer, nonprofit leader or just a strong citizen who cares, there's something you can do to advocate for an end to parking minimums in your town. Here are 5 ideas to get you started:
1. Implement one or more of these 4 steps to squash the "there's no parking" argument. Follow these easy steps to start combating the perception of a shortage of parking supply in your downtown or neighborhood. They might not solve the problem overnight, but they act as a visual display of advocacy that people can relate to.
2. Check out these examples of ordinances that remove parking minimums. Then explore our national map of towns that have gotten rid of parking minimums to see the progress being made on this issue across the country. Click on each pin to read more about the ordinances in each town.
One of the ways to get your voice heard is through your local paper. You'd be surprised by the impact of a letter. We have Strong Towns members who were able to shift the direction of planning decisions in their cities because they spoke up with a blog post or letter. We encourage you to look into the parking minimums laws in your city and write your local paper about ending them, especially if there is a pertinent piece of local legislation up for discussion. With Black Friday fast approaching, your local paper is probably going to be publishing a few stories about hasty shoppers running each other over to get to the latest Xbox. Why not give them something better and more productive to share?
4. Read these stories of towns that ended parking minimums for inspiration and ideas:
Decatur, GA removed parking minimums for commercial buildings, and increased bike access in the process.
Phoenixville, PA removes parking minimums in its downtown through a new comprehensive plan, facing a surprising lack of resistance from the community, and seeing fantastic results.
We'll be publishing more success stories later this week.
5. Ask your local leaders these questions. Andrew Price offers an excellent list of provocative questions that get at the reasoning behind parking minimums. Questions like: Why do we think we can act in a business's best interest better than the business itself? Why should my car pay cheaper rent than me?
Let us know about your advocacy efforts to get rid of parking minimums in your town.
(Top photo by TonyTheTiger)