A large development by the standards of downtown Portsmouth has been approved by the city with no on-site parking spaces, reports Seacoast Online: “The board granted a conditional use permit to McNabb for his historic 111 State St. property, which allows him to provide no parking at the 1800s-era structure, where 48 spaces are required under the city’s zoning ordinance.”

The full story is here

Parking minimums are a good example of something that makes sense on an individual level – each business or apartment wants people to be able to park near them – but not collectively. Nothing kills the vibe of a place faster than having to see or walk across a big, flat field of asphalt, whether covered by vehicles or not. If everybody gets the parking spaces they “need” the result is a place that nobody wants to go to. I used to live in Virginia coal country and you could park anywhere you wanted in all those dying towns.

This is becoming more obvious in recent years; you’ve probably seen maps or photos showing how much space in cities is given to short-term automotive storage (i.e., parking). Maybe that is changing?

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