The Bigger Picture on Pub Parking

Legally required parking at places is whose business is getting people drunk is so absurd, my initial reaction was: there must be more to the story. Not surprisingly, I think there is.

Of course, probably the biggest reason these requirements are on the books is that they were written before MADD, SADD, and the resulting tougher maximum BAC levels. As with all laws and regulations, they need to be updated to reflect changes in our society. Since I haven’t studied law or policy, I’m not sure, but I have an inkling that the process of updating legislation is a bit more complicated than dePlace’s recommendation,

“You find that section in your city’s land use code where it regulates parking minimums. You take a black magic marker, cross out what’s there, and then write in the word “none.” It’s that easy.”

I don’t think it’s that easy. Regardless, it should be done. Continual updates are part of how our system works.

–but wait! I think there is still more to consider. While it is generally safe to assume that a good number of people who walk into a bar do so to drink, should we assume that is true of 100%? What about employees? Maintenance people? Bars also get regular deliveries, and our ordinances should make sure there is space to unload delivery trucks without blocking traffic.

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The existing metrics based on square footage obviously don’t match these considerations—they do need to be revised. But if they are flippantly revised to zero without considering these legitimate needs, there will be negative impacts on the surrounding neighborhoods.

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