LETTER: Abolish parking minimums, and set maximums instead

Automobile parking is way too cheap

The new Kwench co-working space on Store Street recently hosted a panel discussion on urban design in the age of sustainability.

Moderated by Lisa Helps, the panel featured Luke Mari of Aryze, Christine Culham of the Capital Regional Housing Corporation, North Vancouver Coun. Mathew Bond, Jayne Bradbury, co-owner of Fort Properties, and principal architect Erica Sangster of D’Ambrosio Architecture and Urbanism.

The panel discussion was followed by a keynote talk from Chuck Marohn, founder of the Strong Towns movement, who gave his Strong Towns Curbside Chat presentation. It’s a description of how we, as a North American society, got to where we are today in terms of our development pattern and how that affects the financial wealth of our places.

READ MORE: LETTER: Take away my convenient parking, please!

Over the course of his presentation, Chuck talks about infrastructure and what it costs per foot of street, including what is under the street. He asks us, the next time we are taking a walk around our neighbourhood, to count as we take steps.

Our infrastructure can cost $5,000 per average step, and if you start counting as you walk, that’s $5,000, $10,000, and quickly becomes $150,000, etc. As we are doing that, ask: Is the new development that I see on either side of the street paying for what I am walking on over the course of its expected lifespan? Most likely not. In fact, this is a subject that Oak Bay has breached in the spring when it hiked tax rates by almost 7.5 per cent.

Especially think about this when it comes to cars and parking. We as a society think we are paying what it costs to drive and park, through property taxes and gas taxes, but in actuality, we don’t.

READ MORE: LETTER: Reduce the ease of parking and increase ease of accessibility

Never mind counting things that we are not asked to pay for as part of our driving trip. Such costs are climate change, air pollution and hospital costs for the 100,000 or so Canadians that are killed or injured by automobiles every year.

Here in Victoria, there is an organization called Island Transformations Organization (ITO) and it is trying to change the conversation on parking. In addition to the negatives autos cause to our society, the parking that municipalities force every development to provide cause housing prices (and the cost of everything related) to be higher than they need to be.

Island Transformations is recommending that municipalities abolish parking minimums, impose parking maximums and charge developers who build close to the maximum amount of parking. Dedicate those funds to walking, cycling and public transportation.

This very model is already underway in Mexico City, where the cost of parking spots is already recognized.

Eric Diller

Island Transformations Organization

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘We need to do better:’ VicPD responds to more parties, gatherings

Chief pleads with public to ‘think of the greater good’

Flurries fall on Malahat Monday morning

Showers expected off and on for rest of the day

What Victoria residents are looking to buy while social distancing

New search terms pop up on the Used.ca the top 100 list

Sooke businesses cope with closures in midst of COVID-19

Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce helping local business deal with pandemic

COVID-19: Coping with isolation, stress and anxiety

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health shares useful information on coping with pandemic

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

COVID-19: A message from the publisher

We will be making some changes to our print editions during these unprecedented times

LifeLabs reducing public hours as it assists with COVID-19 testing

Coronavirus tests not done at B.C. patient centres, referrals only

24,000 Canadian Forces members ready for COVID-19 response: Defence Minister

No direct requests made by premiers yet, national defence minister says

IN DEPTH: How B.C. emptied its hospitals to prepare for COVID-19

Thousands of beds have been freed up, but patients and seniors have had to sacrifice

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Crucial details of Ottawa’s proposed wage subsidy program expected today

The government has rolled out a bailout package totalling more than $200 billion

Most Read