Reduce or eliminate parking minimums

Description: Historically, cities have required a minimum number of parking spaces for each new development, residential and commercial, even in transit- rich locations. This requirement increases costs and encourages car ownership and use over other modes of transport, e.g., transit, biking, or walking. Buffalo, NY was the first major U.S. city to eliminate citywide minimums. Buffalo eliminated off-street parking minimums on April 3, 2017 following a nearly 7-year effort that involved thousands of community members in neighborhoods throughout the city.

Whether in districts or city-wide, abolishing or restricting parking minimums can lead to more beneficial land use, improved urban accomodation of active modes of transport such as bicycles and scooters, and city centers that are more inviting to pedestrians. Also, businesses are able to grow and hire more workers when they don’t have to finance additional parking spots. Development of affordable housing has also benefited.

Goal: Reduce/eliminate parking minimums

Measurement: Abolish off-street parking space minimums in all new developments

Time to Implement: Nearly 7 years to adoption of Buffalo’s “Green Code”


Buffalo NY “Green Code”

San Francisco Planning Code to eliminate minimum off-street parking requirements

Additional Information:

Map of American Cities Which Have Changed Minimum Parking Requirements

How Buffalo Moved Away From Parking Requirements

Development Response to the Removal of Minimum Parking Requirements in Buffalo (NY)

San Francisco Eliminates Parking Minimums

Contact Info:

Buffalo Green Code
Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning
920 City Hall
Buffalo NY 14202

Jeffrey Rehler
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Urban and Regional Planning
University at Buffalo, SUNY

Daniel Baldwin Hess
Professor and Chair, Department of Urban and Regional Planning
University at Buffalo, SUNY

Sectors(s) Transportation & Land Use
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Date First Adopted April 3, 2017
Last Updated February 22, 2019
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