Enticing Car-Lite Households to Take the Next Step

The city of Portland is really blazing trails with parking-free housing near transit corridors. As we reported before, many Portlanders have seized on the opportunity for more affordable housing and chosen to live in developments without any car parking.

Portland's transit-oriented developments allow more residents to commute without driving, but many still have cars that take up scarce space. Photo: City of Portland

Still, many Portlanders who live in transit-oriented developments own cars, and those cars can take up a lot of space. The question, says Chris Smith at Portland Transit, is how to craft policies that help people drive when they need to, without owning their own cars:

One interesting tidbit from the research that has been conducted about residents of recently built apartments: they use cars a lot less than the average citizen, at least for commute trips. Only 36% said they commute by single occupancy vehicle. That compares to 59% city-wide.

But 72% of these households are NOT car-free, which says they are owning cars for purposes other than commuting.

That’s an interesting policy problem, as car storage (parking) may impact neighborhood livability as much or more than actual car use. What kind of policies might keep car ownership more in line with (commuting) car use? ZipCar, Car2Go and GetAround, where are you?

Elsewhere on the Network today:  The Greater Marin says that, contrary to what is often assumed, urban form is the result of policies, not necessarily preferences. Biking Toronto calls it a “travesty” that the Jarvis Street bike lane will be removed by city officials tomorrow. And Stop and Move comments on a Honda ad campaign that makes sleep-deprived driving seem like a normal, socially acceptable thing to do.

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