Making Way for the Car: Minimum Parking Requirements and Porirua City Centre
Minimum parking requirements (MPRs) mandate that each new development provides enough parking to ensure ample provision at the time of peak demand. This approach tends to oversupply parking above the optimal level, and by bundling parking into the development costs, ensures that parking is free to the user. As a result, land-use and transport decisions are distorted. A case study of Porirua central business district (CBD) was undertaken to investigate the use of MPRs in the New Zealand context, and to assess their impacts on transport and land-use patterns. Findings indicate that MPRs tend to oversupply parking relative to weekly mean and peak occupancies. Land use mapping found that 24 percent of CBD land is allocated to car parking and MPRs were shown to contribute to dispersed development patterns. Stated choice data and a cost recovery model for car parking highlight how free and ample car parking provision favours car driving and has distortionary impacts on travel decisions.