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November 29, 2019  

SoCal Is So Addicted to Cars. Should They Get Rid of Parking Minimums Anyway?

November 29, 2019

It’s Black Friday—and at Strong Towns, that means it’s time to hang with family, nap off yesterday’s food coma, and reflect on how dumb mandatory parking minimums are. Thousands of our readers across America are out there right now happily snapping photos of half-empty lots outside their local stores as part of our annual #BlackFridayParking campaign, reflecting on the insanity of the fact that our cities actually require many of their merchants to build so many parking spots that their customers can’t even fill on the biggest shopping day of the year. (You can totally join them, by the way.)

But not everyone thinks their town has a too-much-parking problem. And if you want to go to ground zero for people who think the Strong Towns call to end parking minimums simply doesn’t apply to their community, look no further than Southern California.

In a recent podcast from KCRW’s Greater LA, host Steve Chiotakis dug into Los Angeles’ peculiar relationship with its parking landscape. LA, after all, is a city that devotes a whopping 27 square miles of its land to the storage of private vehicles, (yes, really,) but whose residents still always seem to be endlessly circling for a spot. And while some Los Angelenos Chiotakis talks to think their city will simply never kick their autodependency habit, others see hope for getting people out of their cars and onto modes of transportation that don’t require that we pave over acres upon acres of our most valuable downtown land.

So what’s the Strong Towns take? Is Southern California beyond repair, or is it time for a transformative overhaul of the City of Sunshine?

In this episode of Upzoned, Chuck and Kea tackle that tough question—and offer a preview of what you can expect at their lived podcast recording at December 4th’s Southern California regional gathering. And their answers might surprise you—especially if you think #EndParkingMinimums means #BanTheCars.