Re: Reducing parking spaces
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Thu, 20 Jun 2013 11:53:30 -0700 (PDT)
> Our forming community would like to minimize the number of parking spaces
> per unit.  We've been thinking of ways to discourage on-site parking (we
> live in a bike-friendly town near a bus stop).
> Doug Hanvey
> Bloomington Cohousing
> Bloomington, Indiana

Think twice and three times. Reducing driving is a good thing but reducing cars 
is not always optimum. Many households will need cars for the following reasons:

Transporting children to soccer, school, piano lessons, doctors, etc.
Working odd hours and returning home at 3 am
Cannot physically ride bikes or walk long distances
Weather not suitable for bikes or walking  when you have to wear suits to work
Weekend trips to hike, climb, visit family and friends, etc.

And other odd reasons, like in DC, you can't be a foster parent unless you have 
a car. Shared cars will work for some but many professional jobs and childcare 
needs aren't optional travel that can be adjusted to whenever a car is 
available. So not having a parking space may be a deal breaker for many.

We have one space per unit and that works pretty well. People who had two cars 
when they moved in have reduced to one because we borrow each other's cars and 
have ~8-10 ZipCars nearby. Several people do not have cars and loan their 
spaces to guests or workers. Or rent them.

Prices for units without parking will have to be lower than with parking -- ask 
a local real estate broker what a parking space costs in Bloomington. What does 
it add to value? How limiting will it be on resales?

AND remember that parking spaces can be used for many things besides parking -- 
cluster them for basketball, hopscotch, learning to ride a bicycle, 
skateboarding, bike parking, etc. It's space that can be very useful. 

Using permeable pavers or pervious surfaces would allow you to avoid storm 
drains and still use the space for something else. Though some permeable pavers 
are not approved for accessibility.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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