In London’s fight for urban space, cars are about to lose their footing OCN News

London City Hall has proposed to drastically reduce the minimum number of car parking spaces required for all new developments, while increasing bicycle parking requirements, as part of London’s first major parking policy overhaul. the city in three decades.

The proposal would halve the number of vehicle parking spaces needed for residential developments. It would also reduce the amount of parking required for commercial and industrial developments by one-third to one-half, depending on floor area and type of use.

At the same time, the city would increase the number of bicycle parking spaces required in all developments to a minimum of three spaces, plus additional spaces based on floor space and usage.

The redesign is a major part of the city’s climate emergency action plan, which aims to reduce the number of car trips in the city, which is believed to be responsible for around half of the city’s total carbon emissions. It also aims to reduce the physical space taken up by cars when not in use.

Redesign seeks to fix parking ‘oversupply’

“The current approach, where minimum parking standards are required, often leads to an oversupply of parking spaces,” said Isaac de Ceuster, long-term planning and research planner for the City of London.

“Large amounts of parking essentially increase distances between developments and require more land and make walking, cycling or using public transport more difficult.”

The proposal includes the ability for developers, businesses and residents to determine for themselves how much parking their property should include, but only in the most developed area of ​​the city. (Colin Butler/CBC News)

London’s abundance of parking spaces contrasts sharply with its insufficient supply of housing.

There are no hard numbers on the number of cars registered in London, but Ontario is one of the most car-obsessed places in the country, according to Statistics Canada.

In 2019, the province had more than a third of the country’s registered vehicles – at 12.5 million, vehicles outnumbered the number of people who could drive them. That year, Ontario had only about 12 million adults.

All of these vehicles need space, which often puts them in direct, but largely silent, conflict with people, who also need a place to park, especially in high-density areas.

Parking makes driving cheap, but developing expensive

“Excessive amounts of parking increase the cost and reduce the viability of housing development in our city, which of course is very important given the affordability crisis,” de Ceuster said.

Eliminating minimum parking requirements in high-density areas of the city, such as downtown, would make it easier for builders to create infill developments. (Colin Butler/CBC News)

To get an idea of ​​how much space a parking space takes up in this city, consider the fact that a parking space is about 30 square meters, or two-thirds the size of an average studio apartment of 45 square meters. A hundred parking spaces could fill half a football field, space for two houses and a yard, or even a small apartment building.

“That’s a significant amount of space that we use for parking,” he said.

In other words, London has become a sprawling city of shopping malls, office parks and car-friendly suburban neighborhoods because it’s the easiest way for developers to comply with regulations.

The City will maintain certain minimums

This is why the City is proposing to scrap rules for minimum parking requirements on private property in the most densely populated areas of London, including the city centre, high street shopping areas, such as Richmond Row or Hamilton Road East, leaving it up to developers. , businesses and homeowners to determine their own parking needs.

The goal of the city’s overhaul of parking standards is to reduce the number of car trips as well as the physical space occupied by cars, which city officials say would contribute to a more accessible community to foot and durable. (Colin Butler/CBC News)

London will keep minimums for certain areas to avoid what city planners call “parking overflow” or parking vehicles where they are not wanted, such as in thoroughfares, empty lots or front lawns.

“We’re trying to encourage more active mobility, like walking, cycling and public transport,” said de Ceuster, adding that’s why the city is providing more bike parking spaces throughout. new developments.

“At the end of the day, it’s about convenience. The same way we provide bike lanes, you have more people using them. It’s the same with bike parking spaces. If you have safe, convenient, maybe even weatherproof storage for your bike, it becomes more attractive for people to use it.”

orignal news from, CBC | London News