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Atlanta's Not Portland! Consider This Anyway

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As this summer's Midtown parking deck controversies have proven, car storage presents a classic chicken or the egg scenario for our fair city. On one hand, Atlanta developers as a whole aren't willing to risk scaring off potential tenants with minimal parking allotments. And as some projects prove, garages don't always have to be monstrosities. The flip side to this is that even well hidden decks eat up a lot of space and reduce the possible densities that could make Atlanta livelier; in addition, whenever parking is a given it's less likely for anyone to seriously consider other forms of transportation. While we'll spare you yet another tired Atlanta-Portland comparison, a startling statistic had us thinking about what decreasing Atlanta's parking minimum requirements could mean as the city seeks to densify; that is, fully 2/3 of the 40 apartment projects filed in Portland within the past year offer no parking. Zilch. Nada. One nice effect: developers are able to build more affordable housing when they're not making up the cost of parking construction. Of course, the transit-rich walkability factor of Portland stands in enormous contrast to Atlanta's lack thereof, but it's worth pondering what the effect of easy, cheap parking has on our urbanization goals. Just how serious are we about changing our four wheeled habit when every new development has ample room for it?

· No Room For Parking At Many New Apartment Complexes [Oregon Public Broadcasting]