Tag: parking

Support for BZA Case Number 18866 – 1108 16th Street, NW

We wish to express our support for the proposed reduced parking to a total of 4 spaces to serve the redevelopment project at 1108 16th Street, NW which will provide office space and 15 residences, while preserving the historic façade of the original building. Given the awkward site and preserved historic features, the reduced parking is reasonable relief, especially for such an accessible location. 

Testimony in Support of 90 & 91 Bladgen Alley NW Reduced Parking

We wish to express our strong support for this project and the proposed reduction in the number of parking spaces provided for this laudable housing development and historic restoration project. Forcing unneeded vehicle parking into this innovative alley residential development would do great harm to this historic alley which is a treasure for the city. We agree that the vehicle parking is unnecessary. Instead of providing vehicle parking, the new housing will offer…


Report: Blame Uncle Sam for congestion on your commute

“Unnecessary traffic congestion is being caused by a lot of ways we’re subsiding commuters to drive and park. It’s not good for anyone, especially someone who has to drive to work. It’s also not making the most of a pretty robust transit network in this region,” says Cort.

D.C. draws closer to letting developers decide on parking

“It is a really important step forward for the city,” said Cheryl Cort, the policy director at the Coalition for Smarter Growth, who detailed her position on the zoning rewrite, which covers more than parking requirements, in a blog post at Greater Greater Washington.

“Everything tells us that people are driving less and are owning fewer cars. Every day we have another transportation option and there are all these new ways for people to get around,” Cort said.

D.C. mayoral candidates call parking ticket system ‘maddening’

Both candidates for D.C. mayor want to overhaul the District’s parking enforcement to end bad tickets, confusing signs and lengthy appeals. Council members Muriel Bowser and David Catania, who will face off in November, have signed on to support a bill to overhaul the ticketing process in the District.

Leave the 1950s Behind: Curtailing the Harm of Minimum Parking Requirements

One of the most effective ways to reduce traffic, pollution, and housing costs is to encourage a shift to more sustainable transportation modes through reforming parking requirements. Through smarter management and reduced subsidies and requirements for parking, people can better choose if they want to drive and park, or opt for a more sustainable mode of transportation. For over fifty years, the D.C. zoning code has required almost all new construction in the city to include off-street parking even when unnecessary. The 1958 zoning code’s automobile-oriented vision of the city’s needs is no longer appropriate in today’s world of high costs for housing and car ownership, congested roads, and global warming.  In contrast to the 1950s view of the future where riding transit would be replaced by driving, and car ownership would be nearly universal, we live in a different reality today.  Since the 2000s, the country and D.C. have experienced a pronounced drop in the amount that people drive, after decades of increase. While low car ownership rates are associated with lower incomes, car-less by choice is also increasing among households who could afford a car. Today, 38% of D.C. households are car free. Car free living by necessity or choice offers a more affordable option for a large share of D.C. households. Our zoning regulations should recognize this.

Demand for urban living is being reshaped by the desire of the largest American generation, Millennials (born 1983-2000), who are seeking to live in more urban and less automobile dependent places. The revolution in mobile Internet-connected technologies and social networking are making transportation alternatives to not owning a personal vehicle more convenient, allowing a larger share of households to adopt for car free and car-light lifestyles with dramatically reduced rates of driving and individual car ownership. Baby boomers too are seeking more convenient, urbane places as empty nesters and retirees downsize. D.C. has benefited from these trends as our population has grown since 2000, and shot up in the last two years when we added over 30,000 new residents, more than the total added over the last decade. D.C. can accommodate more people living and working in the city, but if they all brought cars, our streets would not be able handle the added traffic.

Evidence of long term trends show declining demand for driving and car ownership, and accelerated demand for living and working in transit-rich, walkable, bikable urban neighborhoods and business districts.  To ensure that D.C. successfully manages its turnaround from a shrinking to growing city, it needs to build on the strengths that are retaining and attracting residents. At the heart of D.C.’s success is its acclaimed walkability, supported by an extensive transit system. Neighborhoods with the greatest walkability and accessibility are attracting most of D.C.’s new residents. Updating the zoning code to better accommodate this demand, will help make housing more affordable, and foster the trend away from individual car ownership and its associated driving and traffic congestion.

Parking Changes Possible for Montgomery County Restaurants

Prospective restaurant owners in Montgomery County soon may have a less thorny zoning code to contend with that includes much lower parking requirements.

New restaurants would only have to build four parking spaces per 1,000 square feet as opposed to 25 spaces, a restriction that may leave some businesses with empty lots and deter new development.

“You have big parking lots at shopping centers with a lot of empty spaces,” said Councilwoman Nancy Floreen (D- At Large) of Garrett Park, who chairs the committee.

“That’s a foolish use of limited resources,” she said. “And our goal in urban redevelopment is certainly to encourage less driving and more alternative modes of transportation.”

The zoning code update is part of a three-year modernization effort to simplify its language and adjust a few other policies, including taking neighboring priorities into consideration for new and re-development.

Those changes are in the hands of Montgomery County’s Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee.

A public hearing on the issue is scheduled for Nov. 12, after which the matter will likely go to the full council, said Jeffrey Zyontz, legislative attorney for the County Council.

One aspect of the policy remains the same. Building owners may pay a fee rather than provide parking if they are in one of Montgomery’s parking districts: Bethesda, North Bethesda, Wheaton, Silver Spring or Montgomery Hills.

New restaurants in mixed-use buildings have even lower requirements, Zyontz said.

Restaurants can choose to supply as much parking as they want because there is no maximum.

The policy will only apply to new structures, Zyontz added.

“An old restaurant would just have too much parking. A tragedy,” he said. “But surface parking in some places really isn’t a good thing if you want people to walk around in that environment.”

Several groups, the Montgomery County Sierra Club, Coalition for Smarter Growth and Action Committee for Transit applauded the proposed lower requirements but said they don’t go far enough in shifting focus away from cars.

The county’s urban pockets will still have ample parking if the council does away with any minimums, said Cheryl Cort, policy director for the Coalition for Smarter Growth.

“There’s a lot of parking available and a lot of parking sitting empty because it’s not available to a certain type of user at a certain time of day,” Cort said. “It needs to be managed more effectively and lot of these zoning requirements are producing too much parking and subsidizing driving and car ownership.”

Restaurants and the building owners they rent from would still provide spaces if it was in their best interest, said Ethan Goffman, transit chairman of the Montgomery County Sierra Club.

“You don’t want to distort the market to encourage more driving and more parking,” he said. “We want to move away from a jump-in-the-car oriented society.”

Outside the fold of parking districts, new businesses shouldn’t see much impact from the new policy, said Marilyn Balcombe, president of the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce.

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