Raleigh’s Parking Requirements

Top of the City Center Parking Deck

The video below was posted this summer from Vox. They explore a topic of mine that’s one of my favorites; parking requirements set by cities. If you can’t see the embedded video, click here.

One part of the video shows the various parking rules based on the type of development such as number of spots for a public pool or library. It got me thinking about what kind of rules Raleigh has for new developments. I went ahead and pulled it out of the UDO.

Parking Requirements from the Raleigh UDO.

Click for larger

It’s nice to see the bicycle parking requirements right next to the vehicle requirements. What isn’t nice is how little bicycle parking is required, especially on the residential side. Bicycles need a home too!

Nothing too crazy jumps out at me (except maybe parking itself having no parking requirements!) but if you believe the approach in the Vox video, the thinking of Dr. Shoup, then these few pages from our development ordinance play a huge factor in how the city is going to be built and how we will interact with it in the future.

Keep in mind there are ways to get reductions from these requirements when building near transit, which should reduce the amount of built parking as the county expands its transit infrastructure over the next ten years.

I also wanted to post this as a reference as I feel it may be important to look back to in the future.

[UPDATE 8-18: I’ve added the snippet from the UDO about parking requirements for downtown Raleigh]

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  1. Walking needs to be considered as a form of transit. If a place is highly walkable, and if there are a significant number of residential units in that area, the parking requirements should be reduced. Perhaps the reduction for some uses could be based on a a metric tied to its walkscore and residential units and/or commercial office space within a certain radius from the proposed project?

  2. It is also important to know Downtown zoning has a completely separate set of requirements than those above based on parking occupancy stats and counts done near the time of the UDO Update:

    DX- Parking Requirements
    a. One parking space is required per dwelling unit; however, no more than 2 on-site parking spaces per dwelling unit are allowed.
    b. No vehicle parking is required for the first 16 dwelling units.
    c. One parking space per 500 square feet is required for all nonresidential gross floor area or the minimum number of parking spaces set forth in Sec. 7.1.2.C., whichever is less.
    d. No vehicle parking is required for the first 10,000 square feet of gross floor area of any nonresidential use.
    e. No vehicle parking is required for the following uses and use categories up to 30,000 square feet of gross floor area provided when at least 25% of the ground floor of the building is devoted to such uses: i. Indoor recreation; ii. Personal service; iii. Restaurant; iv. Retail sales; and v. Banks.
    f. No combination of the reductions in paragraphs Sec. 7.1.3.A.1.d. and Sec. 7.1.3.A.1.e. shall exceed 30,000 exempted square feet of gross floor area.
    g. No parking is required for an indoor movie theater.

  3. I just want to say I love the picture Leo used for the cover of this post – I’ve never seen that angle before! Almost didn’t recognize it as Raleigh, looking like a real city with all the layers of buildings!

  4. Thanks Taco….I immediately figured that was the case when I saw the restaurant parking requirement, knowing full well no restaurant in downtown meets it.
    Interestingly, the downtown residential requirement has a *max number…that’s a very good thing I think.

  5. Very interesting! I am pleased to see that Raleigh is moving in the right direction regarding parking. I just read a very fascinating book that touched upon this subject: Walkable City by Jeff Speck. It is a wonderful examination of various aspects of cities, and I highly recommend it to all interested. It is available at WCPL.

  6. I’ve updated the post with the snippet from the UDO that Taco Todd shared. Thanks for that! There’s a lot more but this is a nice entry into the art of parking requirements.

  7. Great video! …And Jack, I just finished Speck’s book last night. Glad someone else enjoyed it as well.

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