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That which is not mandatory is forbidden (Atlanta BeltLine Zoning Edition)

I wanted to just post this story here with a quick comment to the effect of, Well, good. Parking minimums are stupid and they’re especially unneeded around neighborhoods that are growing vigorously precisely because of the huge, pleasant walking trail that they’re growing alongside.

Shared Article from planetizen.com

Atlanta Eliminates Parking Mandates Near BeltLine

Developments near the city’s popular greenway will no longer be subject to minimum parking requirements to make way for more effective development.


Of course, municipal government being what it is, the Atlanta City Government can’t just let the City of Atlanta alone; yet another foray into urbanism is immediately moving forward with a deep, abiding and utterly ridiculous suspicion that people in a city can’t just work it the fuck out on their own. We’re doing some City-Building and Neighborhood Planning here, and if cars are no longer required to get around, then by god we’ll take steps to forbid them:

New legislation passed by the Atlanta City Council will remove parking minimums in the BeltLine Overlay District, a half-mile zone on either side of the BeltLine trail and light rail system.

According to an article by Josh Green in Urbanize Atlanta, the new rules, introduced by Council Member Jason Dozier, will also ban new gas stations and drive-throughs.

The theory goes[1] that less space (and less upfront money from builders) devoted to parking will allow more room for less expensive housing, restaurants, shops, offices, and other vibrant uses, while encouraging neighborhood planning focused on pedestrians, not drivers.

— Diana Ionescu, Atlanta Eliminates Parking Mandates Near BeltLine
In Planetizen (2024-02-08).

For God’s sake. If nobody needs gas stations and drive-throughs, they won’t use gas stations and drive-throughs, and you won’t have them to kick around anymore. If gas stations and drive throughs can stay in business within the arbitrary Overlay Zone then city-dwellers must have some use for them after all.

Let it be, let them pass.

  1. [1][Sic. Of course there is no real theory here, just the arbitrary guesswork of neighborhood planners who figure they know ahead of time how people are going to use the places that they live and go. —R.G.]

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