No law should require someone to pay for parking spaces they don't need.

Oregon just slashed parking requirements statewide. First state-level action of its kind in US history ❤️🌎🏘️…
The rule applies specifically to "middle housing": duplexes, 3plexes, 4plexes, townhomes & clustered cottages.

In most states that'd be a sweet change, but wouldn't matter too much.

But in Oregon, the same law legalized middle housing on almost every urban lot in the state. So.
Specifics: this caps local parking requirements based on lot size.

lots of 3,000sqft or less: cities/counties can require 1 off-street parking space, total, for the first 4 homes

3k-5k square feet: 2 spaces total
5k-7k: 3 spaces total
7k+: 4 spaces total
Important note: Property owners are allowed to build more parking than that IF THEY WANT TO, and for the forseeable future, many will want to.

What this does is let more homes exist SPECIFICALLY in areas where car ownership is a little less important.
In other words, it doesn't *push* any neighborhood through the door to becoming more walkable, bikeable and transit-oriented.

It just *opens* the door.

The parking mandates applied by virtually every city in the mid to late 1900s had locked that door, by law.
These new rules, unanimously approved Wednesday as part of rulemaking around a bill approved by Oregon's legislature in 2019, affect all residential lots in the jurisdictions in which most Oregonians live.
How do parking mandates kill housing? Well, you try to fit more usable off-street parking spaces on the site of this hypothetical new fourplex.
This is the sort of thing a new fourplex is required to look like under the current rules in many cities, including Oregon's until now: 1.5 spaces per home.

The thing that drives me most bonkers here: THE DRIVEWAYS ELIMINATED THE CURBSIDE PARKING

(also the space for trees 🌳)
This is how Oregon fourplexes will be allowed to look under the new rules

the choice is yours folks
Who suffers most when we make off-street parking mandatory? Poorer folks who don't own cars.

But OR's new cap affects cities of just 25k people, & cities down to 10k can have duplexes with just 2 spaces total. How many Americans don't own cars in small cities?

Quite a few!
When we make off-street parking mandatory, we effectively discriminate against the many low-income tenant households who don't need it.

Again, many people do need parking! But making that call from city hall, for the indefinite future, is a bad one-size-fits-all way to go.
One of my fave things about the chart above is the dip in car ownership among the very wealthy.

In other words, when you have the option to do without a car by spending lots of money on housing instead, many do.
Wouldn't it be nice for the rest of us if everyone had that option? We should make low-car life possible in more places for more people who want it.

That goal requires making parking more optional. OR just did so for a few housing types.
What about parking mandates at larger apartments & businesses? Not gone yet!

Let me know if you want to get involved in a campaign to further reduce parking mandates across the Portland metro area.
I'll finish my article & this thread with a point about politics. @ambrown already screengrabbed it:
Here's our full article about Oregon's big new parking reform. Thanks for reading & LMK what I missed!…

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More from @andersem

24 Dec 19
Hoo boy here it comes - the long-awaited national realignment on yimbyism.

In OR, even with D supermajorities, we needed a few votes of rural market-fundamentalist Rs to get the bill past Ds from rich exclusionary burbs.

If VA's duplex bill passes, I think that door closes.
That's not to oppose VA's bill, or even national realignment!

In case you haven't noticed, there is a group of smart Rs racing to align their party with this (correct) policy position before Ds embrace it.
If Rs got to a pro-housing-abundance position first, I fear the worst of all worlds:

1) D cities would double down on "if anyone anywhere is making money from physical change, then that change is bad" (ignoring the rivers of gold exclusionary zoning sends into landlord pockets)
Read 7 tweets
22 Aug 19
For the NYT's #1619project, @KevinMKruse explored how sprawl is in some ways a deliberate tool for segregating us by race.

But he didn't quite say *why* sprawl deepens segregation.

One of the main reasons: low-density life is expensive by design.…
@KevinMKruse That map - showing race in PDX as of 2010 - is revealing in lots of ways. (National map available here:…)

Here's the most diverse part of the metro area: East Portland. 1 dot=1 person.

See those hard lines? That's what zoning looks like from space.
@KevinMKruse Now let's take off our "race blind" goggles and look at the hard lines again. HMM.
Read 10 tweets
12 Jun 19
I freakin love bus lanes. Here's a DIY presentation I gave a couple years ago that attempts to explain why:…
This is a photo of the status quo in Portland rush hour. Can you spot the bus?

We're so accustomed to this that we fail to see how deeply unjust it is.
I don't even mean, like, my-opinion/your-opinion socially unjust. I mean frickin' *mathematically* unjust.

You've probably seen this famous photo from a German cycling campaign. Compelling, right? But this doesn't even capture the whole story.
Read 19 tweets
4 Jun 19
This is sort of a crazy chart from @OregonDEQ that can be summed up as "detached housing seems to be bad for the environment by every metric we could think of"…
@OregonDEQ Seriously, I do not currently expect to start wearing a button that says "lawns cause cancer" but there you have it
Glad the chart above, about the environmental impacts of attached vs detached housing, has gotten some attention so I'm going to expand on one of these bars: the one labeled "climate change."

As @MadelineKovacs often says, housing policy IS climate policy. Here's how much it is:
Read 21 tweets
20 May 19
18% of Astoria homes are in a duplex, triplex or fourplex. Hood River: 14%. Grants Pass: 13%. Portland: 10%.

Why do smaller cities build so much middle housing?

Same reason big cities would if it were still generally legal there: it’s less expensive…
This post was inspired by @OPBTOL's excellent report last week on Oregon's middle-housing legalization.…

In it, @samanthamatsu & @DaveMillerOPB paraphrase Albany Mayor Sharon Konopa as seeming to call middle housing a "Portland solution."

It isn't!
That's not to criticize OPB or even say Konopa is literally wrong, since the bill itself is coming from outside her city.

But it would *not* be correct to think that duplexes, triplexes & fourplexes are a "big city" idea being imposed on the rest of the state. Just the opposite.
Read 14 tweets
7 May 19
In this thread & post from last fall, I wrote about how unbelievably stupid it would be to spend $168 million on 5 new parking garages along TriMet's next rail line (2x the dedicated funding for affordable housing)

Today's thread & post bear good news!

My post was harsh; when it came out, it got a lot of pushback from @trimet on various grounds. One of their main substantive points was that a 5-garage scenario was unlikely. (Cool, I replied, but there it is in the documents...)

Now they may be delivering on that implication.
Here's the latest: For most park-and-rides, TriMet staffers are now pushing for surface lots ($18k/space and you can put buildings there later) rather than garages ($52k/space). Would save many millions.…
Read 15 tweets

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