Treaty 1 Territory, Homeland of the Red River Métis, Winnipeg, Manitoba –
Winnipeg Mayoral Candidate Rick Shone is calling for an end to mandatory parking minimums. “It is my strong belief that homeowners, renters, and businesses know what’s best for their communities.” said Shone, “Those most affected by mandatory parking should get the final say, not city hall.”
“Eliminating mandatory minimum parking requirements is about giving people more say over how they live their lives (and use their property) and it’s an important step towards improving housing affordability and increasing transit usage,” added Shone.
Requiring minimum parking also affects the city financially. By allowing people to build more residential and commercial units, instead of parking, the city can add to its tax base.
“Approximately 40 percent of downtown Winnipeg’s surface area is dedicated to parking,” remarked Shone, “If we want to build a livable and vibrant city, we need to get more people living in the core. Eliminating mandatory parking minimums is a big step towards that goal.”
Currently, mandatory minimum parking requirements are obligatory. These requirements are particularly challenging for those who don’t own cars, including low-income families.
Broadly, there are two main issues. Firstly, these requirements assume that people prefer to travel by car when in fact, in the wake of changing transportation trends, this may not be the case. Secondly, costly parking minimums should not be forced upon those who choose alternative means of transportation.
Additionally, studies show that by increasing the availability of parking, cities and neighbourhoods increase the number of cars in an area which is at odds with both broader climate change objectives and concerns regarding traffic congestion.