I and many other scholars have argued that minimum parking requirements increase the cost of housing (by taking up land for parking that could be used for housing, and by imposing costs that are passed on to consumers), increase the costs of doing business, and create a variety of other social harms. One occasional counterargument is that because most people drive to work and other destinations, developers would build lots of parking even if such parking was not legally mandated.
A recent study discussed in Transfers Magazine shows otherwise, by focusing on recent reforms in Seattle. That city eliminated parking requirements in its most dense areas and reduced parking requirements in some other areas. If minimum parking requirements were irrelevant to developer decisions, developers would have built as much parking as they did before the reforms. In fact, this was not the case. For example, in areas where no parking was required, 30 percent of residential developers built parking-free housing. Even developers who built some parking usually built less than was required under pre-reform standards.