Thursday, May 3, 2012

More ridiculous parking requirements

While reviewing Cambridge's zoning code I looked at the table of minimum and maximum parking requirements, which has a long list of different uses and their different requirements. Here is one:
Bar, Saloon, or other establishment serving alcoholic beverages but which is not licensed to prepare or serve food.
Minimum Parking Required: 1 per 5/10/15 seats (depending on type of land).
That's right: Cambridge could require as many as 1 parking spot per 5 seats for a bar -- an establishment which, by definition, supplies beverages that make you unfit to pilot a vehicle.

Certainly, people are allowed to go to a bar and not drink, such as designated drivers. But why require that a bar provide parking, instead of letting the owner decide whether or not to assume that liability?

It's almost as if there's a kind of sickness which seems to get into city planners' heads whenever the topic of parking comes up, and it causes all common sense to fly out the window.

1 comment:

  1. Actually, it makes perfect sense when you realize that the primary purpose of these zoning requirements was to make it prohibitively difficult and expensive to open new bars in areas where real estate was expensive (i.e., wealthy neighborhoods). Once upon a time, that meant the only place you could get approval for a bar was someplace like Central Square, where the only people you would annoy were black folks and immigrants...

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