The number of parking spaces in new Toronto projects is expected to decline in the near future. Toronto City Council will consider a number of recommendations at its meeting on December 15th, including the replacement of parking minimums with parking maximums.
Minimums would be maintained only when necessary to guarantee equitable access to parking if approved by City Council. The suggestions also call for the implementation of electric car parking standards, as well as an increase in short-term bicycle parking rates over much of the city and other measures to encourage low parking rates.
“These changes will reduce the growth of the City’s parking supply while allowing those who need parking to have access to it,” the Council document reads. “The removal of minimum parking standards does not remove existing parking, nor prevent new parking from being built.”
The reasons for parking maximums, according to the Council study, are threefold. First, by reducing the expansion of parking spaces in the city, it will reduce car use and thus greenhouse gas emissions.
“In order to achieve Council’s target for net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, aggressive action must be taken to curb the emissions from the transportation sector,” the document reads. “Easily available parking encourages people to drive more often,” the report reads. “More people driving contributes to worsening traffic congestion, slowing transit operating in mixed traffic and making it more difficult to improve travel conditions for alternatives like transit, walking and cycling.”
According to the paper, the second component is that reducing the number of cars on the road will result in less traffic congestion.