Differences in zoning regulations and existing density, as well as the age of buildings, also played important roles in this disparity. With the advent of ride-hailing as well as multiple modes of transportation options, the differences among regions will begin to wane. In fact, most metro areas across the U.S. experienced a decrease in ratios from 2006 to 2016, although a handful of markets like Nashville, Philadelphia, Austin and New York City saw slight increases.
The steepest decrease in the average ratio occurred in the Miami and Ft. Lauderdale markets, falling from 2.53, the highest of any major market in 2006, to 1.69 in 2016. This is mainly a result of the city eliminating minimum parking requirements, first for its downtown district in 2010 and then for developments outside of downtown comprising less than 10,000 square feet in 2015. The Portland market experienced the second largest decrease, with its average ratio falling from 1.50 to 0.90. With the city council having eliminated minimum parking requirements in 2017 for developments located near frequent transit and containing affordable units, further declines can be expected for the area’s average ratio.
An increasing number of cities have begun to reduce and even eliminate parking requirements for development. The chart below illustrates just a sample of the more recent changes to zoning codes in various municipalities across the country. In addition, cities such as Boston and Nashville are already building parking structures that can easily be converted to other uses.”