Atlanta Metropolis Council votes to axe parking minimums close to BeltLine

Following the lead of U.S. cities equivalent to Austin, San Jose, Gainesville, Fla., and dozens of others, the Atlanta Metropolis Council permitted laws Monday that can take away parking minimums for brand spanking new tasks positioned in an unlimited loop close to the city-altering BeltLine undertaking. 

Broadly applauded (and lengthy lobbied for) by Atlanta urbanists, the laws is being known as by its backers a progressive step towards smarter city planning, safer streets, and inclusivity.

Launched final month by District 4 Councilmember Jason Dozier, the permitted laws will modify zoning across the BeltLine Overlay District—a zone of roughly ½ mile on both facet of the 22-mile loop’s hall.

The principles will ban new fuel stations and drive-thrus in that space, whereas eradicating Atlanta’s requirement to construct a minimal quantity of parking with each residential and industrial tasks. (The principles will exclude some eating places and bars, which depend on parking for supply and customer support.)

Parking minimums imposed by cities dictate the quantity of off-street parking—oftentimes a pricey part of latest tasks—that builders should construct, based mostly on sure formulation, equivalent to one parking house per bed room. The speculation goes that much less house (and fewer upfront cash from builders) dedicated to parking will permit extra room for inexpensive housing, eating places, retailers, places of work, and different vibrant makes use of, whereas encouraging neighborhood planning centered on pedestrians, not drivers.

“By eliminating parking minimums, we’re embracing a extra progressive strategy to city planning and prioritizing the wants of our communities,” Dozier wrote on Twitter/X, following Monday’s vote. “This transfer aligns with our imaginative and prescient of a extra walkable, bikeable, and transit-friendly Atlanta… [It’s] a monumental victory for mobility and sustainability.”

Dozier argues that Atlanta’s former “extreme parking necessities” have held again growth potential close to the BeltLine hall and spawned worse visitors congestion.

The ordinance handed this week consists of grim statistics. Since 2015, 14 pedestrians have been killed in collisions with automobiles inside the BeltLine overlay zone—and eight of these incidents occurred inside the previous two years. In the identical time interval, 47 pedestrians had been severely injured, and greater than half of these cases additionally occurred inside the previous two years. (Is it a coincidence the Metropolis of Atlanta’s inhabitants has swelled in post-pandemic occasions, packing on an extra 14,300 individuals over the yr ending final April alone—a development charge the Atlanta Regional Fee known as “stunning”?) 

Throughout Georgia, in line with the ordinance, the variety of pedestrian fatalities has reached a 40-year excessive, incomes the Peach State the doubtful distinction of being one of many 10 deadliest for pedestrian deaths.

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