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 (including the Fort Commons), 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

Eighteen unattended cannabis plants discovered near Saanich trail

Plants cannot legally be grown in public spaces

More than $800,000 in suspected cocaine seized from ship near Victoria

RCMP Dive Team suspects more narcotics had been stored below ship’s waterline

One man in hospital with severe injuries after small fire in Victoria apartment building

Man was found by firefighters responding to multiple 911 calls about smoke on third floor

Area residents concerned about aftermath of McKenzie interchange construction

Ministry says neighbours’ concerns being heard, will be addressed

UPDATE: Two dead after fishing boat sinks off southern Vancouver Island

Shawnigan Lake-registered Arctic Fox II went down off Cape Flattery, west of Victoria

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

Money can be used to battle food insecurity and support children and mental health

We were a bit tone deaf: Hobo Cannabis renamed Dutch Love after backlash

Hobo Cannabis has various locations in Vancouver, Kelowna and Ottawa

Man accused of killing Red Deer doctor says he does not remember attack

Appearing before a judge, Deng Mabiour, 54, rambled about being sick and needing a doctor

Andrew Scheer likely marking last day in House of Commons as Opposition leader

Today’s Commons sitting is one of two scheduled for August

Deaths feared after train derails amid storms in Scotland

Stonehaven is on the line for passenger trains linking Aberdeen with the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow

DFO says 5 aggrieved B.C First Nations were consulted on fisheries plan

Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations calls response ‘a sham,’ adding DFO never incorporates their views

Most Read