By Shannon Binns:
Charlotte has invested, and will continue to invest, substantial sums of money to provide residents more safe and convenient transportation choices beyond cars. These include more opportunities to ride transit, bike and walk to achieve improvements in public health, the environment and to further economic growth.
Undermining the impact of these investments, however, are Charlotte’s minimum parking requirements. These requirements result in abundant parking, which make driving more convenient and affordable than it otherwise would be if parking were scarce. Demand for driving is artificially induced while demand for modes of transportation that compete with driving is reduced as a result. Many cities around the country have caught on to this insidious effect of minimum parking requirements and have eliminated or reduced them, letting the market determine (and naturally reduce) the amount of parking provided.