We’ve all seen one of these “leg parties” from the street

First I came for your kitchen, now I’m coming for your garage.

I’ve noticed a trend over the past year at the Oak Lawn Committee – applicants seeking less parking than is required by the PD-193 ordinance. A hotel will be seeking half of the parking required, and an office building cutting a third. Each one makes the case that less car use equates to less garage space needed. Even outside the city core, the Preston Road and Northwest Highway task force meetings were presented with multiple traffic studies which showed that intersection’s traffic had been decreasing for nearly 20 years.

Outside Dallas, I’ve also read this past week of projects in urban Chicago where heart-stoppingly few parking spaces are being proposed in new residential projects. A mixed hotel-condo project with 280 hotel rooms and 290 condos would offer just 26 parking spaces. Another 39-story, 368-unit residential tower proposed 158 parking spaces while an 11-story, 102-unit building would have just 31 spaces – each a far cry from the expected two spaces per unit minimum. For Dallasites, these projects are heart-stopping because unlike Dallas, Chicago has a robust public transportation system in addition to ride-sharing services. Many municipalities are taking notice and updating parking minimums.

(more…)