Other cities — seeing that “the sky did not fall,” as Mr. Shoup put it — followed suit. Some reduced minimum requirements, others did away with them altogether and still others went so far as to set parking maximums, according to the nonprofit group Parking Reform Network, which has been tracking the moves. Instead of parking, some developers provided allowances for mass transit and bike use or rental-car-sharing arrangements.
Overturning the requirements is not the only way parking lots are being refashioned. There have been efforts to landscape them with plants to absorb rainfall rather than letting it run off, which can cause flooding. The greenery can also reduce heat radiating from the asphalt. Some lots have been transformed into parks, while others are topped with solar panels to provide power as well as shade.
Not everyone is a fan of the reforms. Those with disabilities need to be able to park close to where they are going, Mr. McConnell of WGI said. Much of the time, however, objections to repealing minimums come from homeowners who fear their neighborhoods will be overrun with cars.
In South Boston, mandates were increased in 2016. Last year, Miami reinstated minimum parking requirements. “This is not a pedestrian and bicycle city,” said one commissioner who complained of people parking in front of his house.
But the momentum is in the other direction, driven in part by a housing shortage, which has prompted officials to explore ways to ways to ease construction requirements and make homes more affordable.
In December, San Jose, Calif., became the largest U.S. city to eliminate parking minimums, and Bend, Ore., repealed its minimums this year.
In some cities, the amount of parking may already exceed demand, according to a 2018 inventory commissioned by the Research Institute for Housing America, part of the Mortgage Bankers Association. The survey showed that there were 19 parking spots per household in Des Moines, and that in Jackson, Wyo., there were 27 spaces for every home.