admin by Richard FitzZaland | 1 Oct 2020
Access to daily needs,Local Business, Economic Development

All new buildings should have underground parking sufficient to meet its needs & some public parking


Generally, new development is not helping with Sidney’s parking needs.  I have read the parking study and I am not convinced the ratios used are appropriate to the reality of Sidney.  We are seeing a dramatic increase in density and traffic.  Street level parking in new buildings might be cheaper to build, but it kills available ground floor retail space and room for food services, thus killing pedestrian traffic for whole blocks.  We should be planning for reduced car traffic and increased alternative transportation modes, but the current reality is people are using cars and the volume of cars is increasing each year, with parking not keeping up. 

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I have read the articles proposing reducing the requirements for off street parking and allowing “free market forces” to manage our parking. I believe his article addresses only one dimension of our problem, and using a process that will continue favoring the more privileged in our community, or developers who do not even live here and do not have to live with the consequences of the structures they build. A proposed bidding war for on street parking spaces will not favor the average resident. And removing off street parking requirements will favor developers who are happy for another concession to reduce their costs. “Free market forces” have not been terribly friendly to the environment. And they have not made our town more accessible to a diverse population, or more pedestrian friendly. And all of the new buildings are yet to be occupied, so we have yet to see the real consequence of dramatically increased density. “Free market forces” never require developers to pay the real costs to the environment, or the real cost to the public for degrading their quality of life. There is no such thing as a “free market”, only a market where a privileged and powerful few make profits while the rest of the population and the environment subsidize the full costs.

Eric T on 1st Nov 2020

Density doesnt have to be tied to traffic, unless the town requires a minimum amount of parking be built- which it already does. The approach proposed is not conducive to a good pedestrian environment. The best way to have a useful, safe, comfortable and interesting place for walking is to eliminate cars, but since that isn’t going to happen, a different approach is needed.

Abolishing parking requirements is a good first step. Using free market principles to price on street parking is a good second step- but the money raised should not go into a black hole at city hall. Neighbourhood associations should be able to spend most of the money in the areas where the money is raised as they see fit. The remainder should go to public transit.

For more information see the “Parking in your town” series:


Eric T on 1st Nov 2020

No. The best way to reduce car traffic and improve the pedestrian experience is to ban cars. Since that isn’t going to happen, we should be abolishing parking minimums and using free market principles to price on street parking. Most of the net funds raised should be spent right where they were collected, on those streets and not go into some black hole at city hall.The remaining should be for public transit.

In the words of Donald Shoup- free parking is like a fertility drug for cars. For more info see my “Parking in your town” series of articles :