Planning Division Pitches Parking Cap to Encourage Alternative Transportation

(KCPW News) The Salt Lake City Planning Division is proposing to cap the number of parking spots at future developments as part of an effort to get more people to take public transit, ride a bike or carpool to work. Principal Planner Nick Britton says in theory, if there’s less parking, companies have more of an incentive to offer their employees alternative ways of getting to work, like public transit passes or priority parking for carpoolers.

“So if more people are taking the train for instance, that’s less cars on the road or if more people are carpooling because they’re given priority parking at work or some other type of incentive to carpool, than four people are in one car, that takes three different cars off the road so that’s kind of the goal, to change up how people think about getting to work and getting around,” he explains.

Britton says under this proposal, parking at a business would max out at 125 percent of the minimum parking necessary. For example, if a business requires 20 parking spaces, it can have at least 20 but no more than 25. He says this is all part of Salt Lake City’s sustainability efforts.

“The kind of vision is to look at the impacts that people driving to work by themselves in single occupancy cars, what impacts they have on say, road construction road maintenance, public health, air pollution and development,” says Britton.

The plan also includes a proposal for commuter showers and lockers built into new, bigger developments to encourage employees to ride bikes to work. Britton says developers have expressed some concern about the proposal and its regulations. He expects the final draft to be ready by summer.