Hartford is a modest city in central Connecticut that made history last year when it removed parking minimum laws citywide. This shift means that — unlike most American towns which require homes and businesses to provide a certain amount of parking spaces based on their square footage or number of units — Hartford no longer mandates any parking, leaving that decision in the hands of a developer, homeowner or business owner. The decision to eliminate parking minimums passed Hartford’s Planning & Zoning Commission by a unanimous vote.
Three key factors made this change possible:
1. The city is already easily accessible without a car.
2. The removal of parking minimums happened in tandem with a broader city-wide movement toward people-centered places.
3. The elimination of parking minimums happened incrementally over time.
By eliminating parking requirements in two phases as well as shifting the broader conversation about transportation in the city in general, Hartford created the circumstances under which such a bold move would be easily accepted by leaders and residents.
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