As the high affordability, environmental, and traffic costs of excessive parking has become widely apparent, the outdated practice of minimum parking requirements is being overturned across the country, with the Obama, Trump, and Biden administrations publishing policy papers calling for the removal of expensive local policies like this.
A growing group of nonprofits, community groups, and local leaders are calling for all governments in the Austin region to abandon the failed practice of minimum parking requirements. Farm&City, a 501c3 nonprofit organization is serving as the fiscal sponsor of the Austin Parking Reform Coalition, including BikeAustin, Environment Texas, Farm&City, Friends of Austin Neighborhoods, TxPIRG, the Parking Reform Network, and WalkAustin.
The time for this change has come, with the people of Austin no longer able to afford the extravagant, exclusive zoning regulations that are making housing rapidly more expensive. To jumpstart this campaign, we need to raise $11,000 to hire a dedicated staff person to support the work of the coalition and make the case for reform.
We need your help.
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Long term, Farm&City is seeking $75,000 to make this a statewide program to end the practice of minimum parking requirements in every corner of Texas. Any funds beyond the initial Austin goal of raising $11,000 will be dedicated to this work, but may help across the Austin region and state, not just in the City of Austin.
Organizational Membership in the Austin Parking Reform Coalition
The coalition is made up of nonprofits, community groups, and other leaders of the Austin region wanting to make Austin a more affordable, environmentally sustainable place. Organizations are welcome to join the coalition at any time. Suggested organizational donation is $500, but membership will remain open regardless of ability to pay. Please contact [email protected] or [email protected] if you work with an organization, community group, or other local entity interested in being part of this coalition.
The high cost of required parking for the people of Austin
In spite of the Austin region’s environmental reputation, the people of the Austin region drive more than almost any other Americans, second only to the Atlanta region in vehicle miles traveled per capita. Part of the reason we drive so much is because we have dedicated such a huge public investment in subsidizing driving, with more lane miles of road per capita than any other large metro region in Texas. However, our local governments have also chosen to require private investment in the use of private automobiles to an extraordinary extent.
At the current rate of requiring 1.7 parking spots per new housing unit, the City of Austin’s minimum parking requirements from 2010-2020 have imposed an estimated additional cost of $3,296,261,750 on the cost of housing for Austin residents, or about $75 more per month for the average mortgage.
However, parking requirements significantly limit development of new housing within the City of Austin, causing housing costs to increase rapidly in the growing metro region, and pushing new housing development out into car-dependent sprawl, with the region on pace to destroy 10 square miles of open space or farmland every year for the next 35 years.
Help raise money for parking reform with your own FaceBook Fundraising Page
One of the best ways to spread this movement, show your support for a more affordable, healthy Austin, and make sure we meet our goal is to set up your own fundraiser on Facebook, asking your friends, colleagues, and family to support this reform movement. This does require a Facebook account. If you don’t have one or for anyone who wants to donate outside of the Facebook system, you can donate here.
Start at this page to create your fundraiser. Make sure that you select Farm&City as the nonprofit to raise money for. You should see a tiny version of this logo along with the name Farm&City. We will track all donations that come in as a result of this campaign and dedicate them to parking reform work.
You will need to pick a title, like one of these:
- Help end costly parking mandates in Austin
- I’m supporting the Austin Parking Reform Coalition for the environment
- I support the Austin Parking Reform Coalition to make ATX more affordable
You don’t have very much space to explain the campaign. Keep it simple and direct and not too long. Please feel free to use this suggested language or write your own:
Please support my personal campaign to help launch the Austin Parking Reform Coalition. The outdated practice of minimum parking requirements is making Austin more expensive every month, is terrible for the environment, and causes more traffic on our streets.
Your donation today to Farm&City – a 501c3 nonprofit eligible to receive deductible contributions – will be earmarked for supporting this new coalition and ending the wasteful parking policies still leftover from the 20th century.
Facebook pays all the processing fees for you, so 100% of your donation goes directly to the nonprofit.
[This last paragraph is included in the default Facebook suggested language, and we suggest leaving this part]
You will need to set a goal for your personal fundraiser. Together we are hoping to raise at least $11,000 by the end of the year. However, every dollar more than that will help make this a year long campaign to bring the affordability benefits of parking reform across the state. So you might consider setting a goal of $500, $1000, or $2500, or pick a number that has some personal resonance to you.
Finally, you will need to decide when your fundraiser ends. This overall fundraising campaign will end December 31, 2021, but you might consider choosing on a week or two to focus on your campaign.
Once you launch your campaign, make sure to make a first donation yourself and ask some close friends or family to add some donations to get your campaign going. Once you get going, please send an email with a link to your campaign to [email protected], and then be creative about posting your campaign throughout the duration of time you have selected. Thanks!