Jul 20, 2023 - News

New city policy would eliminate mandatory parking near transit corridors

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The City of Cleveland is taking concrete steps toward becoming a "15-minute city," meaning residents can access most amenities via a short walk, bike ride or transit trip.

Driving the news: In partnership with Cleveland City Council, Mayor Justin Bibb has introduced a Transportation Demand Management (TDM) policy that would eliminate mandatory off-street parking requirements for new projects located near high-frequency transit corridors.

  • That criterion would cover virtually all of downtown.
  • Projects would instead choose from a menu of TDM options created by the Cleveland Planning Commission — things like adding bike and scooter parking or offering RTA passes to residents or employees.

What they're saying: "Investing in multimodal corridors and transportation choice is critical to Cleveland's success on many levels," Bibb said in a statement.

  • "Putting people over cars allows us to build a city that is safer, healthier and more accessible for everyone."

Between the lines: Minimum parking requirements can be an expensive hurdle for small businesses and residential developments. The Bibb administration sees the new policy as a way to promote transportation options while stimulating equitable development and affordable housing.

The other side: A web of climate change deniers and far-right activists have condemned the 15-minute-city framework as an "international socialist concept" that will trap people in their homes and take away their personal liberties.

  • Actor Rob Schneider even came after Cleveland city planner Matt Moss on Twitter. "Your 15-minute Chinese city is a future hell hole prison," he wrote.

What's next: The city last week released a request for proposals seeking a consultant to develop a citywide mobility plan that will guide multimodal transit efforts over the next five years.

  • The work involves creating a three-year strategy for a "rapid bikeway buildout," which includes the construction of protected bike lanes citywide.

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