California Takes a Step Forward towards Reducing Sprawl and Creating More Walkable Cities

With the passing of Assembly Bill 2097, which reduces parking minimums in locations close to public transportation, California has made a huge step toward eliminating sprawl and constructing more walkable cities. This reform makes it simpler for Californians to access daily destinations without having to drive everywhere, which is a huge success for supporters of affordable housing and environmental conservation.

The requirement of parking spaces for new home projects less than half a mile from public transportation is now forbidden by this new rule. The expense of adding one parking place can increase the price of new housing by tens of thousands of dollars, increasing costs for lower-income families and individuals. Housing will become more accessible thanks to the passing of AB 2097 because developers won’t have to take parking costs into account any longer.

The research of UCLA professor Donald Shoup, who brought attention to the negative environmental effects of mandating car storage areas in buildings, is largely responsible for the passage of this legislation. According to Professor Shoup’s research, dropping these rules might lower the cost of constructing more compact housing, which would ease traffic congestion and air pollution brought on by moving vehicles.

Governor Gavin Newsom has been a champion of this law since its debut. In a statement following the passage of the legislation, he emphasized the need for more possibilities for people to reside close to their places of employment or education. “We can help individuals locate cheap places to live by reducing onerous parking regulations close to public transportation.”

The passage of AB 2097 is a significant step in California’s mission to control sprawl and build more walkable communities. It will be simpler for individuals in California to get to work, school, and other regular places without having to rely on cars or pay high fees only because there used to be a requirement for them to do so by reducing needless car storage requirements. It also serves as a crucial reminder that we can address other environmental challenges like climate change while simultaneously making our cities more affordable with well-researched policies like those supported by Professor Shoup. That’s a win-win situation, to be sure!