Mountain View’s new apartments in a near-downtown location with an 85 walk score, across the street from Caltrain and light rail at 455 West Evelyn, include all of the parking spaces that the city required.
A piece by Alan Durning of Sightline Institute provides an in-depth analysis of how parking requirements raise baseline rents in new apartment buildings. Even relatively modest off-street parking requirements increases the per-unit cost for the developer by about 50 percent, Durning shows, raising required rents from about $800/month to $1,200/month. Interestingly, this is pretty much in line with what developers are saying. The comments on Durning's piece are revealing. Some react to suggestions that off-street parking requirements should be eliminated as an attack on those who drive, while others point out the spillover effects of providing no on-street parking. The latter point is valid, but there's also a good deal of denial of the externalities resulting from America's ubiquitous off-street parking requirements. In addition to the elimination of affordable housing, parking requirements also have broad negative economic impacts and contribute to global warming.