Curtis Park Is the Perfect Place for Denver to Break Its Parking Addiction

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Image: Fox31

Can you imagine having to walk a block to your house after you park? Well one Curtis Park resident is already living this nightmare, reports Fox31.

“At night it’s ridiculous,” Keith Regensburger told Fox31. “We’ve had to park on the other side of the block over by the park sometimes.”

A developer wants to build two apartment buildings on two vacant lots at the intersections of 32nd and Stout, and 32nd and Downing. The apartments will be “micro-units,” minimalist homes with less space than the average abode, which means that 56 units will fit onto plots that might otherwise house two families.

Because these lots are small, the zoning code doesn’t require the owner to build off-street parking. Fox 31 calls this a “loophole” that will steal on-street parking from current residents, as if it’s theirs to begin with. Actually, building apartments without parking protects cities from getting overrun by car traffic. The more parking cities build, the more traffic they get, and the less friendly they are to people.

These apartments will also be in one of the easiest places to go car-free in Denver. The plots are one block away from the 30th and Downing light rail station, on three different bus lines, and next to the Stout Street bike lane, which is slated to become parking-protected.

City Councilman Albus Brooks wants to solve the “problem” by getting a nearby property owner to lease their parking lot, but that’s unnecessary. Instead he should ask the developer to market the apartments as a place to live car-free. And you know what would be cheaper than building or leasing parking spaces? Providing tenants with transit passes. Instead of attracting more cars, the neighborhood can attract residents without them.

Brooks usually supports smart transportation policy. Denver needs to break its parking addiction and Brooks has a perfect opportunity to show the city how it’s done.