AUSTIN, TX – In a historic vote, the Austin City Council voted 8-2 today to finalize the elimination of the costly practice of requiring parking as a pre-requisite to building homes and businesses citywide. Farm&City commends city staff, Mayor Watson and Austin City Council for their strong climate leadership with this effective market-based solution, and calls upon Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, and Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker to lead other large Texas cities in ending the scourge of minimum parking mandates.
“We hope the responsible action today by Austin City Council is seen and understood in the halls of the Texas Capitol and City Halls across our state. Mandating car dependency and banning living in Texas cities without investing in car parking perverts markets and stymies our environmental, access, and affordability goals,” said Farm&City Executive Director Jay Blazek Crossley. Farm&City has launched a letter writing campaign allowing residents of the other 9 largest cities in Texas to email their city representatives to ask for them to eliminate minimum parking mandates as well (https://secure.everyaction.com/0GinQ_o8WU6yUVML0KgX-w2).
Farm&City, a 501c3 that works across Texas to improve public policies, has worked on this reform for five years. On February 4, 2019, as the Chair, Farm&City Executive Director Jay Blazek Crossley signed the City of Austin Pedestrian Advisory Council Recommendation to Austin City Council to eliminate the practice of parking minimums (https://services.austintexas.gov/edims/document.cfm?id=314415).
In the Fall of 2021, advocates and community leaders formed the Austin Parking Reform Coalition (https://www.atxparkingreform.org). Farm&City became the fiscal sponsor, engaged the support of the nationwide Parking Reform Network (https://parkingreform.org/), and hired Daniel Kavelman as the staff lead to work with Austin City Council to optimize this change for all the people, including ensuring that the City maintained high standards of providing ADA accessible parking citywide.