I agree that Olympia needs a more robust public transportation system to make the parking reduction work.
However, this letter to the editor is a bit inaccurate and hyperbolic (and a bit smug). First, the proposed parking reductions are part of the City's Housing Action Plan. They are intended to reduce the cost of building affordable housing, not to reduce carbon emissions. Building structured parking can cost anywhere between $30-$60k PER SPACE when you factor in travel lanes, etc. That adds to the cost of development, which adds to the cost of rents. Also, parking takes up a lot of space, and that space could be better used to build housing units.
Are you aware that there have been no minimum off-street parking requirements in the downtown area for some time now? That does not mean that developers do not provide parking. Having a "no minimum" just means that the market has been deciding how much parking to provide. The developers know that a percentage of their residents will own vehicles and need parking, and they have been providing it, but at a lesser amount than has traditionally been the case.
Also, did you take note that these reductions apply only to multi-family developments that are within 1/4 mile of public transit? It's not a city-wide thing, and will not affect single family areas (though there has been some commentary that inadequate parking will cause parking spillover into neighborhoods). Parking reductions have been implemented in cities across the United States. Several cities have eliminated minimum parking requirements entirely. Google it.
Olympia is facing a housing shortage. Right now only about half of the number of housing units are being built to meet its future housing needs, and many people are being priced out of the housing market. One thing I would like to see with the reduction in parking requirements is that the reduction could only be allowed in exchange for a guarantee from the developer that the housing units would be affordably priced for lower income tenants. I would hope that most of us think housing for people is more important than parking for cars. Here's a link to an article on that very topic. https://planning.org/planning/2018/oct/peopleoverparking/
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