The California Assembly recently passed AB 3153, a bill to increase the number of bicycle parking spots and other innovative parking features near new buildings. Now the bill heads to the Senate for a hearing.
AB 3153 could ease traffic congestion on city streets, benefit low-income Californians, and help protect the environment. Let’s look at what it could mean for our state and what kind of changes it would bring.
Here’s the Problem: Cars Dominate Parking Lot Layouts
The bill is designed to reverse a longtime trend that has turned out to be harmful. Decades ago, cities gave developers minimum requirements for the number of vehicle parking spots in their new building designs. The idea was to provide ample parking and avoid putting the burden on the city to provide enough parking spots.
However, it comes with unintended consequences for many busy cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles. In already crowded areas, new buildings are surrounded by giant parking lots that sit partially empty much of the time, turning California’s green space into pavement for no good reason.
Plus, low-income people tend to rely on public transportation, walking, electric scooters, e-bikes, and car-sharing, rather than putting their money into buying cars. So why are we creating so much regular car parking without adding more bicycle, e-bike, and car-share parking?
AB 3153 is intended to make a positive change to this situation. It lays out new rules for parking lots that could change the face of California’s new construction for decades to come.
AB 3153 Incentivizes Developers to Do the Right Thing
Instead of requiring developers to meet a minimum requirement for regular car parking spots, AB 3153 gives them an incentive to think more creatively and allot space to a variety of parking solutions.
Developers would receive financial incentives to:
Reduce car parking by 1 to 2 spaces for every 4 long-term bike parking spaces that are added to the lot.
Reduce the required number of regular parking spaces by 2 spaces for every 1 car-share space, which can be used for car-sharing services.
Include long-term parking spaces with lockable enclosures, racks, and bike storage rooms in up to 15% to 30% of new parking lots, depending on the location and nearby transit options.
Knowing All This, Do You Support AB 3153?
When the California Assembly passed AB 3153 to the Senate, widespread support from diverse groups played a role in their decision. AB 3153 has support from bicycling groups like the California Bicycle Association, environmental groups, car-share companies, and of course many of the developers who would receive the incentives.
Safety experts have also shown support for the bill due to pedestrian and bicyclist safety improvements. Although a large proportion of vehicle fatalities occur at roadway intersections, 73% of pedestrian fatalities and 58% of bicyclist fatalities occur at non-intersection locations like parking lots. Innovative parking lot features help address this problem.
Plus, adding more bike and car-share parking makes good financial and environmental sense for the people of California. These bike-friendly parking solutions are more in line with a future where cars may be far less dominant in the transportation landscape.
What do you think? Do you support AB 3153? At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we sure hope it will bring big benefits to our local communities.
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