Tuesday, February 02, 2010

I'll Say It Over And Over And Some People Will Never Hear

I don't object to the fact that lots of people like to live in car-centric neighborhoods in single family detached homes with big yards. I also don't object to the fact that this preference leads to people supporting public policies which cause the building of some kinds of public infrastructure to support this desired way of living. What I object to is the fact that alternative kinds of development are basically illegal in most places. I've written over and over again that it would be illegal to build my block today, in fact it would be illegal to build almost all of the residential portions of the broader center city Philadelphia area. It's even illegal to build my neighborhood in my neighorhood! The primary issue is the parking requirement, with any project with 5 or more units requiring private off street parking, and in practice even smaller projects are forced to add parking due to demands of neighborhood groups. Market forces operate within a world with regulations, infrastructure, and financing subsidies. They aren't independent of them.