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

‘We thought it was an earthquake,’ homeowners okay after tree falls

Mature tree falls on roof of Victoria Avenue house

Hydro pole fire closes portion of Metchosin Road in Colwood

Motorists are advised to avoid the area of Metchosin Road near Royal Bay

Saanich roads doused in more than 300 tonnes of salt during snowstorm

Crews cleared roads around the clock during the mid-January storm

Strong winds expected in Greater Victoria Friday evening

Winds are expected to ease Saturday morning

VIDEO: The Victoria byelection leads a selection of today’s news stories

A selection of Greater Victoria top stories for Jan. 17

Theft victim confronts suspects with baseball bat on Vancouver Island

RCMP in Nanaimo seek to identify of two people alleged to have used a stolen credit card

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

Clerk bruised, traumatized after armed robbery at Nanaimo liquor store

Few details on male suspect in Wednesday incident, says Nanaimo RCMP

One last blast of winter tonight for parts of the Island before temperatures on the rise

A snowfall warning is in effect Friday including east Vancouver Island.

POLL: Has the recent snow had an impact on your daily life?

Old Man Winter had Greater Victoria in his icy grip this week.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 14

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

Most Read