Cities and towns are constantly fretting about downtown parking. But what they often perceive as a "parking shortage" isn't caused by a lack of parking -- it's the result of poor management of the parking they already have. The upshot is that many cities, seeking cheap and plentiful car storage, pursue policies that make their parking and traffic problems worse, not better. Now a downtown Austin business coalition aims to chart a better course.
The CodeNEXT maps are out and, predictably, hand-wringing has ensued. The City released a tool allowing one to compare the old and new zoning side by side. People have begun looking up their neighborhoods to see what has changed. Even modest changes have provoked cries that the consultants are proposing to bulldoze neighborhoods.
I've been critical of CodeNEXT so far, so it's time to point out one of its positive changes: Parking. Take residential parking. The current draft cuts required parking by half.