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Long Beach’s State Senator Lowenthal Takes on Parking Requirements

3_2_09_lowenthal.jpgLast week, State Senator Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) introduced legislation that takes aim at how California's municipalities think about parking and parking requirements.  What S.B. 518 is missing in co-sponsors it makes up for in chutzpah.  If enacted, the legislation would require that every municipality in the state earn at least "20 points" in parking reforms.  These reforms range from eliminating the city's parking requirement for development which is worth 20 points to requiring that employers offer transit passes en lieu of parking worth only 2 points.

Locally, this bill would have an amazing impact on transportation planning if it were to become law.  All of a sudden the city would be forced to think of building transit-oriented development without having at least two car spaces for every residential unit or setting aside part of its parking fees for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. 

However, getting this legislation passed and signed is going to be a heavy lift.  Despite the many positive impacts that parking reform would have for transportation network and environment by reducing V.M.T., there is bound to be a lot of pro-automobile forces pushing back against the legislation and so far there has been almost sign of a campaign promoting it.  As a matter of fact, the only place I found this legislation mentioned was Infosnack, a blog originating out of Washington, D.C.  In other words, seeing this legislation passed into law may be a heavy lift; but then most things worth doing are.

For a full list of all the ways a municipality can earn points, read on after the jump.

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