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Affordable Housing

Wednesday’s Headlines: End Parking Minimums Edition

12:04 AM EDT on March 22, 2023

City of Yes could mean no to this.

The big news is that on Thursday at 11 a.m., our friends at Open Plans will be hosting a rally in City Hall Park to demand the end of outdated rules that require developers to build far more parking than is needed.

The rally coincides with the release of an Open Plans white paper making the case for full elimination of parking mandates — the simplest and most impactful route to an increase in housing development at lower cost with the side benefit of more walkable and safe neighborhoods (plus lower carbon footprints).

The Adams administration's "City of Yes" zoning proposal is making its way through the review process, so now is the best time to read the white paper [PDF], which, frankly, lays it all out:

    • How we are not in a parking crisis — we are in a housing crisis. So building more housing should be the priority.
    • How parking mandates create "a self-perpetuating cycle of car-dependence."
    • How for every 1.2 parking spaces constructed, one unit of housing is lost — an almost one-to-one tradeoff.
    • And, most important, how this craziness all came about.

So head to the fountain in City Hall Park on Thursday morning for the "Plan for People Not Parking" rally —and hang with the cool pro-development, pro-livable cities, pro-open space crowd at Open Plans (plus the League of Conservation Voters, Regional Plan Association, Riders Alliance, Transportation Alternatives, Tri-State Transportation Campaign, Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine, Council members Shekar Krishnan Lincoln Restler and Jen Gutierrez and others.

Until then, here's the news:

    • Speaking of parking mandates, Open Plans' Sara Lind was all over Politico's story on the need for reform.
    • And speaking of better uses for public space, our friends in the restaurant trade wanted us to mention that they are still seeking support for outdoor dining amid the Council's bid to make the open restaurant program a seasonal affair. Here's the petition.
    • The Daily News had more on that horrific crash on Monday in Bensonhurst. The driver was charged with manslaughter (NY Post). The Times also looked at the broader issue of why the roadway was once a Vision Zero priority corridor ... until it wasn't anymore (even though it was still unsafe).
    • Speaking of the Times perhaps remembering the city name on its front page, the paper followed Streetsblog in analyzing the new bus-first plan for transit to and from LaGuardia Airport.
    • Speaking of following Streetsblog — apparently nobody but Crain's followed our coverage of last night's Brooklyn-Queens Expressway visioning session, at which the DOT revealed some nifty renderings.
    • Plus, there was more car carnage in Queens. (NYDN)
    • Details have started emerging about e-bike charging stations on NYCHA properties. (amNY)
    • And Crain's followed up the mayor's other big lithium-ion battery announcement — that e-bikes would be legal in some city parks this summer.
    • The mayor will be in The Bronx this morning to make a very good announcement about an important open space initiative along The Bronx side of the Harlem River (currently one long cop parking lot).
    • And, finally, cow with a beef on the lam in Canarsie ... is a better headline than what the Post and Gothamist went with.

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