Parking maximums define the maximum number of off-street car parking bays that can be built in new developments, thus slowing the growth in peak-hour traffic congestion and mitigating several other externalities. Developers who wish to add more parking need to apply for an exemption.
The problem of parking minimums
Minimum parking requirements subsidise cars, increase traffic congestion, pollute the air, encourage sprawl, increase housing costs, degrade urban design, prevent walkability, damage the economy, and penalise people who cannot afford a car.Donald Shoup
- increased peak-hour traffic congestion, because if more parking is available at a destination then more people will drive there;
- increased cost of housing, particularly impacting upon affordable housing, because the cost of parking is added to the cost of the house; and
- increased cost of goods and services, because the cost of parking is added to the cost of commercial rent, which is passed on to customers by the tenant business.
Existing Yarra policy
The City Of Yarra imposes mandatory parking minimums via Table 1 in Clause 52.06 of the Yarra Planning Scheme. The table spans over 4 pages, defining requirements for different types of buildings. The exception is the commercial area of Cremorne, where Yarra is proposing to change to parking maximums.
What Yarra can do
Yarra can eliminate parking minimums from the Yarra Planning Scheme, and even better, impose parking maximums.
Concurrently, Yarra can manage the demand for on-street parking by using demand responsive parking charges (for metered parking bays) as well as protecting residential parking by expanding the use of permit only zones.
Examples in other cities and countries
City of Melbourne
The City of Melbourne imposes parking maximums:
City of Port Phillip
The City of Port Phillip imposes parking maximums:
New Zealand has recently removed parking minimums for all cities larger than 10,000 people. The new rules are discussed in this article by Greater Auckland Inc.
Europe and USA
In 2004, London reversed its parking requirements, eliminating the previous minimums and putting new maximums on parking supply for all developments in the metropolitan area.Zhan Guo, ACCESS Magazine
San Francisco has removed parking minimums.
Other information on parking
Learn more from our collection of pages related to parking:
Further guidance is available from ACCESS Magazine Issue 49, or the video from Vox.