America’s Solution to Having Too Many Parking Spots
American city landscapes are changing — and its abundant parking spaces are at the center of the shift. According to WSJ, the US has too many parking spots, making developers reconsider the need.
The future of parking spots (less of em’)
1/ The number of US parking spaces is in decline. Apartment buildings completed in 2022 had an average of 1.1 parking spaces per unit — down from 1.7 in 1998. What’s behind the drop?
- Americans drive less (4% fewer miles in 2022 than in 2019).
- Ride-sharing and remote work contribute to the declining parking spot demand.
Many cities including NYC and SF have already removed minimum parking requirements on new buildings.
2/ Parking lots are being converted. Parking garages and retail parking spots are being repurposed into higher-value real estate, a trend that could benefit renters.
- A 2016 study found that a garage adds 17% to average apartmental rental prices.
- With less parking required, developers are able to fit more units into buildings.
One developer of a new apartment building with no resident parking said rents would be ~$250 lower than with parking.
The pros and cons of fewer parking spaces
Pros: Urban planners and economists say it reduces rents and construction costs and helps ease the national housing shortage.
Cons: Commuters say these trends have added extra time to commutes — while local business associations worry it could reduce traffic to stores and restaurants.
Some economists disagree, saying there are plenty of privately-owned garages — and that driving around waiting for free and government-subsidized parking only creates more congestion.