TL/DR: It is critical to tell your alderman that you do not want parking minimums in downtown.
There will undoubtedly be more public meetings about this in the future, but it is critical we get this to the top of mind ASAP. The constituents do not want parking minimums.
Please send an email to your alderman saying you do not want parking minimums in downtown. If you are looking for inspiration, there is a template at the bottom of this post.
Recently a parking study concluded – discussed in the aldermanic chamber and the results were generally good, with a couple of odd conclusions. One of the most concerning was to reinstate parking minimums in downtown.
As Nashua works towards its master plan, of making a more walkable Nashua, it is critical that we remove parking minimums, and definitely do not add more parking minimums especially to downtown.
The whole study consists of over 70 slides, and the discussion lasted over three hours. A recording can be found here and all slides can be found here. Included below are some of what we believe are the most important slides to highlight:
Some sources on parking minimums:
- Anchorage Alaska removes parking minimums
- Burlington Vermont removes parking minimums
- Twin Cities removes parking minimums
- Removal of parking lanes increased business
- How Parking Requirements Help Walmart and Hurt Small Businesses
- Parking minimums incentivize driving – against the master plan
If you aren’t sure what to say in your email, we have included a copy and pasteable template you’re free to use and change as you like.
Subject: Concerned about parking minimums – recommended by recent parking study
Hi Alderman $REPLACE_WITH_YOUR_ALDERMAN
I’m a concerned constituent who recently watched the GOV Joint Infrastructure Planning aldermanic meeting here and was particularly worried to see it was recommended to bring parking minimums back in downtown.
Parking minimums can be harmful to a downtown by creating a car-centric environment that discourages walking, biking, and public transit. By requiring a certain number of parking spaces for new developments, cities are effectively subsidizing driving and prioritizing cars over other modes of transportation. This can lead to increased traffic congestion, air pollution, and carbon emissions, which can have negative impacts on public health and the environment.
Moreover, parking minimums can be costly and take up valuable space in a downtown area that could be used for other purposes such as parks, public spaces, and affordable housing. These requirements can also limit the ability of small businesses and developers to invest in downtown areas, as they may be unable to meet the high cost of providing parking spaces. By reducing or eliminating parking minimums, cities can create a more sustainable, equitable, and vibrant downtown that is centered around people rather than cars.
Adding parking minimums in our downtown is antithetical to our master plan of creating a more vibrant, walkable Nashua. We should be working to remove parking minimums in other areas of town, not considering adding them back in downtown.
All the best,