Imposing minimum parking mandates on commercial land uses near transit makes housing scarce and expensive.

If you have difficulty envisioning why, try adding homes near this #Milpitas light rail station. See all this underused asphalt? It’s all required by law. Image
Here's what a #Milpitas light right station area looks like on the ground.

To get here, take the #VTA light rail line to the Alder stop. Then, trudge north through a sea of parking. ImageImageImageImage
#Milpitas could instead manage curb parking near the station, using prices and permits, and remove its costly minimum parking regulations. Many cities have already done this. Image
If #Milpitas removed its costly minimum parking regulations, it would increase regional housing affordability, while reducing traffic, pollution, and vehicle crashes. We’d all benefit. But cities like Milpitas have, for decades, failed to act. Our state legislature must step in ImageImageImageImage
If our state Senators pass #AB1401, converting these underused #Milpitas rail station-area parking lots to housing will be financially feasible. ImageImageImageImage
#AB1401 will be up for a crucial vote tomorrow. Call your senator today!

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More from @PatrickSiegman

27 Aug
For centuries, Americans built compact, walkable, neighborhoods. They provide affordable shelter & let us meet many daily needs without getting in a car. They're a great American tradition

Today, we took a big step toward making that tradition legal again…
Here’s a traditional fourplex at 203 Bryant St, #PaloAlto. It’s on a 5000 sf lot. That’s 35 homes per net residential acre. At that level of compactness, people walk a lot more & drive a lot less.

This is the kind of traditional American housing that #SB9 will make legal again.
As the @SierraClub’s John Holtzclaw explains, “This study suggests the following actions to reduce our dependence on the automobile, afford us more transportation options, reduce congestion buildup and reduce air pollution:…”

Source for graphic & quote:…
Read 4 tweets
21 Jul
“After eliminating parking requirements, monthly rent in the average #Minneapolis studio apartment fell from $1,200 to less than $1,000.” #AB1401…
“As the leader of one of the state’s largest parking authorities, Park #NewHaven, I’ve come to learn a lot about parking. Our business model rests on the notion that parking is better when shared & the cost of parking should be borne by people who want to drive.”

A good policy.
“Zoning laws have the opposite result. They impose the cost of parking on nondrivers — and on all of us. Zoning mandates on parking make the cost of construction — and housing — more expensive."

Read 5 tweets
18 Jul
Thanks to California’s new accessory dwelling unit (#ADU) laws, homeowners can help solve our housing shortage. It’s legal now.

But wait, there's more! In cities like #Pasadena, these same laws are making it easier and cheaper to build an addition.😃🧵… Image
Under #Pasadena’s current code, “any addition to an existing residence…of over 150 square feet triggers a requirement to provide two covered spaces within a garage or carport.”

Left: addition legal!
Right: no asphalt, no addition...😢 ImageImage
Instead of managing the curb parking actually owned by the city, #Pasadena planners found it easier to force every homeowner spend tens of thousands of dollars pouring concrete & building garages.

Has this added to Pasadena’s historic charm? ImageImage
Read 7 tweets
12 Jun
My mom & dad bought their first house in #PaloAlto for about $16,000. At the time, it cost about 5 cents per hour to park downtown. Today, that same house would cost ~$3 million & it’s free to park downtown.

We have completely solved our affordable housing problem–for our cars🧵
In 2019, surveyors counted 313 homeless people in #PaloAlto, up 99% from 2013. They found no homeless cars.…
How did #PaloAlto become a city of expensive housing and free parking? In 1951, Palo Alto adopted a new zoning ordinance. The new law limited housing and required parking.…
Read 28 tweets
15 May
1/11 “A few years ago, @LauraFriedman43 toured an affordable housing project in #Glendale, the city of 200,000 she represents in the California State Assembly. What caught her eye was the garage: a cavernous, subterranean space, virtually empty.”…
2/11 “To comply with local parking requirements—two spaces for every studio or one-bedroom apartment, and rising from there—the builders had been forced to pour millions of dollars of concrete and reduce their number of new apartments..."
3/11 “…all to build a garage their low-income tenants would never fill.

“’These requirements are definitely stopping housing,’ she concluded.”
Read 11 tweets
2 Nov 19
Never think about managing curb parking without thinking about how your approach will affect housing supply, home prices & rents.

We gained majority political support for converting 4 acres of parking into 357 homes at the S. #Hayward #BART Station in no small part by…

…agreeing to provide existing nearby residents with free residential parking permits, so they had no fear of the curb parking in front of their homes becoming overcrowded.

photo courtesy of:…
Agreeing to give free residential parking permits to existing nearby residents also created support for removing all minimum parking regulations, reducing the cost of these affordable & market-rate homes & allowing for lower rents.

Read 6 tweets

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