This blog has written earlier about how reducing traffic congestion has to involve the use of complementary levers that make vehicle ownership and usage costly.
Minimum parking requirement in housing complexes is effectively a subsidy to vehicle owners in so far as it makes vehicle parking space less costly. While still marginal, a rising chorus of opinion has been calling for scrapping minimum parking requirements.
Marginal Revolution points to the very bold decision by Mexico City to dispense off with minimum parking requirements in buildings,
Mexico City eliminated requirements that force developers to build a minimum number of parking spaces in each project. The city will instead cap the number of parking spaces allowed in new development, depending on the type and size of the building. Existing parking spaces can also be converted to other uses. Mexico City Mayor Miguel Mancera signed the new regulations into effect last week. The policy change applies to every land use and throughout the entire city of 8.8 million residents. It promises to make housing more affordable, reduce traffic, and improve air quality... The old rules mandated parking even though only about 30 percent of Mexico City residents own cars and the city has a well-developed subway system. There are now parking maximums in place instead of minimums. For example, office developments had been required to include at least one parking space per 30 square meters of floor area. Now that is the maximum parking ratio developers can build. Within the central city, the new rules also require developers to pay a fee if they build more than 50 percent of the maximum parking allowed.
To put this in perspective, Buffalo, New York, is the only US city without a minimum parking requirement in its zoning regulations.