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Parking: minimum or maximum
The National Building Code (NBC) of the Philippines stipulates the minimum number of parking spaces or slots per type of establishment and intensity of development (i.e., according to area or other parameters). These established provisions are generally called parking minimums. The NBC’s provisions are already archaic by current standards and need to be revised but not in the way it was apparently developed. The NBC needs supporting evidence from studies (are there any dependable ones around?) on parking requirements including those for bicycles and motorcycles. These should clearly not include or impede the requirements of pedestrians. And local government units must be required to enforce these NBC provisions.
Here is an article that discusses the proposal for new limits on parking, particularly in large developments in Boston, Ma. in the US:
The article points to this one:
City of Boston (September 20, 2021) Maximum Parking Ratios, https://www.boston.gov/departments/transportation/maximum-parking-ratios [Last accessed: 10/19/2021]
I must admit that I still have to do a lot of reading on this. There are some who are calling for the abolition of parking minimums but you just can’t do this so abruptly without understanding the context and current set-up. We are not Boston or San Francisco or Hong Kong or Singapore in terms of the transport infrastructure and services and the progressiveness of policies including those governing or covering housing and other factors that come into play with transportation. Sprawl and the resulting pressures (requirements for efficient travel) on the transportation system is not transport’s fault or responsibility alone like what some articles or infographics make it appear to be. It is very much about land use and land development, and the policies and the political economy behind these developments.
Required reading on sprawl, transit and the poor
A friend recently posted an article on Facebook that I thought should be required reading for urban and transport planners in the Philippines whether they be with government or the private sector. There is a strong link between land use and transport, we need to be able to understand the complexities and subtleties in order to maximize the benefits to society. It is not a coincidence that the article specifically mentions the poor as it discusses opportunities lost due to flaws or inefficiencies in land use and transport. The article is found in the following link:
Suburban sprawl and bad transit can crush opportunity for the poor
I hope that this will be read and understood by officials at DOTC, LTFRB, LRTA and PNR, as well as those of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB). These agencies are responsible for planning and regulating transport and housing in the country. Of course, it is also important for local government units to be able to understand these challenges especially since they will be in the forefront of addressing issues on sprawl and the provision of suitable transport systems. Here’s a related article that I posted earlier this year on New Year’s Day:
Opportunities with the MRT-7 and LRT-1 Extension