Unbundle parking and housing costs
Many people assume parking is free or inexpensive since it is usually included in the cost of housing. In reality, it is a significant hidden cost -- by some estimates, the cost of a single residential parking space can be $40,000 to $50,000 or even greater. People are more likely to own a car and to drive if they've already paid for a parking space.
Vancouver should explore policies that separate (or 'unbundle') the cost of parking from the cost of housing. This gives home-owners or renters an opportunity to pay for housing without paying for attached parking, increasing both housing and transportation choice. By separating the cost of parking from the cost of housing, unbundling makes visible a significant hidden cost of driving and provides a more accurate pricing signal. This enables people to make more informed transportation decisions and creates more meaningful opportunities to live a less car-depedent lifestyle.
Links: http://www.mapc.org/resources/parking-toolkit/strategies-topic/unbundled-parking, http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/12/realestate/12nati.html?_r=2&pagewanted=1
The City has supported projects that have voluntarily unbundled parking (e.g. Spectrum), and is actively working to gain authority to require unbundling in new development — this requires changes to Provincial legislation. In 2008, the City proposed the Unbundled Parking Resolution to give BC municipalities the authority to require unbundling in new development. This was passed by the Union of BC Municipalities. Provincial response to date: The Ministry of Community Development will review the proposal and refer the issue to the Development Finance Review Committee for discussion.
Janine Brossard commented
Agree! Lets make it optional to put a parking space in our gardens and not a requirement. Instead many people may install a bike shed and plant some trees or have more space to grow food. Over time if the laneways were not needed for cars they could become bikelanes.
Michelle Hoar commented
Great idea. Very sensible and concrete. Probably a bigger impact than it might sound like. Particularly like it as it addresses the affordability issue, which I think its enormous in VAncovuer. And harder to solve than 'greening', frankly.
Steven Forth commented
I like this idea. I woudl add that commercial zoning and permitting that requires businesses to provide parking should be phased out. This discriminates against companies that support responsible transit. We should discourage over supply of parking and (as in Tokyo) require anyone that buys a car to also lease and pay for a parking space.
Absolutely this needs to be done if there is ever going to be hope for my generation to afford to live in the city the cost of parking spots -needs- to be unbundled from the cost of housing. Let drivers pay the true costs of their travel.
This should absolutely be done. People without cars should not have to buy parking spaces - especially in a housing market as expensive as Vancouver's. And people with cars should be made aware of how very expensive they are.