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Readers’ letters, Victoria Times Colonist, May 18, 2023

Parking requirements should be reduced

Some letter-writers have criticized the City of Victoria for approving new housing with little or no parking. I’m pleased to see Victoria finally move in this direction.

Right now nearly all existing housing in the region includes parking, whether it’s needed by the residents or not. Given the current housing affordability crisis, car-free households need more options so they don’t have to pay for parking that they don’t use.

It may seem inconceivable to some, but there are many households that are car free. Households may choose not to own a car. In other cases, they may not be able to afford a car, or cannot drive due to age, health, or disabilities.

According to the 2017 CRD Household Travel Survey, 20% of Victoria households don’t own a car. That’s about 10,000 car-free households just in the City of Victoria (and the report estimated 17,000 car free households across the whole region).

Victoria is not alone in this. A major shift now seems to be happening across North America, away from minimum parking requirements for new buildings.

Hundreds of cities have eliminated parking requirements in their downtown cores, and dozens more have eliminated parking requirements city-wide. California is eliminating minimum parking requirements across the state, for developments near transit.

Reducing parking requirements will improve affordability and equity, help to fight climate change, and help to create a built environment that is more welcoming to people.

Steven Murray

Victoria

We have proof that car-free living works

Re: “Car-free accommodation is a bit of a fantasy,” letter, May 16.

A car-free lifestyle is not a far-fetched idea – it’s already a reality for many.

As a downtown resident in a recently built 60-unit rental building with zero off-street parking spaces, I can attest to the success

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