Walk to the future! We wrote a few months back about changes coming to future parking options, and the Board of Supervisors today approved those changes. The planning and new construction approval process now has a bunch of new ways to incent developers to offer transit-friendly amenities, more space for bikes, and less parking for cars. The program is known as “Transportation Demand Management” which is pretty accurate but rolls off the tongue about as easily as turning left on Van Ness Ave is these days.
The city has taken a three-pronged approach to planning for future transit needs, an outcome of Mayor Lee’s 2013 task force on transit, Transit 2030 (PDF of final report).
In November of 2014 we passed Prop A which was a $500 million investment in Muni, as well as Prop B, which puts about $300 million more dollars into transit projects. But if you’ve driven across San Francisco lately, you know that isn’t enough!
In addition to investing more money, the city also adjusted how it evaluates potential projects against CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act), so that projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions are rewarded and not penalized.
Today the last piece of the puzzle passed the final hurdle, and the city has now officially adjusted the incentives that it offers to developers in the hopes that they will build less parking and more “other stuff” in future developments.
Up until now, the city offered seven options to developers of new residential spaces. After today, the menu has gotten a lot lot longer (but still includes the seven items that were available up to now), with things like “provides delivery service” or “provides a shuttle” being examples of new options a developer could elect to offer.
The neighborhood is the amenity. Plan on walking or biking to it, because traffic isn’t getting any better any time soon. That said, I’m glad to live in a city attempting to do its part to reduce our carbon footprint. Going forward, the city will continue to reward developers for building homes with less parking spots and more “other stuff.”