1. Donald Shoup makes up for last week with an interesting piece on how America’s tax structure biases employers towards providing parking for their employees, similar to how untaxed employer-provided healthcare shapes that industry.
2. Back in August Randal O’Toole asked for proof that minimum parking requirements force Walmart to build more parking than they otherwise would. I think this is a bit of a red herring, since obviously parking reform would have more of an impact in areas that are more urban than where Walmart typically locates, but lo and behold, here’s the proof, at least in the case of one store in Northeastern Connecticut. In this case it looks like the parking minimums are going to be reduced, but I question whether smaller companies without Wal-Mart’s clout and money could have demanded such changes.
3. A survey of urban planners, supposedly biased towards big cities, found that 60% feel that the free market would not provide an adequate amount of parking if developers were not given parking minimums, with only 1 in 10 believing that the market would provide too much parking. The author of the paper, called “Are suburban TODs over-parked?” (.pdf), and published in the Journal of Public Transportation, found that suburban TOD projects in the East Bay and Portland supplied too much parking for the amount of cars that were actually parked. The authors unfortunately don’t do a great job of linking the parking surplus directly to parking minimums, but they do provide some interesting empirical evidence for what Matt Yglesias called “parking feedback loops” and what the study’s authors term a “virtuous cycle” – the idea that parking itself is a barrier to walkability, and thus removing spaces will lessen the demand for parking, even if nobody was using the spots that were removed.