Off Street Parking and Neighborhood Livability: photo essay
Over 20 years ago, the City of Portland removed off-street parking requirements for residential development along streets served by transit. Done to encourage the construction of more affordable units (parking stalls can cost up to $20,000 per), use land more efficiently and as part of the City’s climate action strategy, this innovative idea had few takers for years. A combination of banker unwillingness to finance developments without parking and partly a reflection of the market where the majority of people owned cars and wanted a place to put them. With the growing interest in urban living and demographic changes to smaller, car-free households, in the last year there has been a spate of new projects proposed and being built along commercial, transit-served streets in Portland’s inner city taking advantage of this policy.
And, surprise, neighbors are upset and are trying to change the rules. Somehow, allowing new neighbors to park on public streets is an attack on neighborhood livability and tradition. Check out this photo essay on how off-street parking (for years required by cities) disrupts the “traditional” neighborhood character, community interaction and aesthetics.