Creating excellent mobility choices and
vibrant, healthy neighborhoods


Circulate San Diego is a regional grassroots organization formed through the merger of Move San Diego and WalkSanDiego, San Diego County's leading organizations dedicated to advancing mobility and making the region a better place to live, work, learn, and play. Our work focuses on creating great mobility choices, more walkable and bikeable neighborhoods, and land uses that promote sustainable growth.



What's New at Circulate

Circulator- May 6th

Circulate Releases New Report on Parking

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Circulate San Diego has just released our new report on Parking in San Diego. Read the entire report here

Circulate San Diego recently launched our #PlanDiego initiative, dedicated to research and advocacy for sustainable land use policy in the region. In the coming months, we will release a series of short reports identifying major barriers to transit oriented development in the City of San Diego. These reports will be followed by a more comprehensive document identifying specific solutions we are encouraging the City to adopt to make transit oriented development more economical, affordable, and environmentally sustainable.

This report begins our exploration of barriers to transit-oriented development by examining San Diego’s current parking regulations.

Download here [PDF]


 

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Intern Spotlight: Andrew Furillo

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Since last October Circulate San Diego has had the pleasure of hosting an extraordinary young intern named Andrew (Andy) Furillo to assist us with Policy analysis.  Andy is a Master’s candidate in International Economics at UC San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy, with a regional focus on Korea. His program includes a heavy emphasis on data analysis. He completed his undergraduate degree at UC Berkeley, majoring in Political Science and minoring in Korean.

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Report: Circulate San Diego Releases New Report on the City of San Diego's Parking Rules

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Circulate San Diego has just released our new report on how the City of San Diego's parking rules are barriers to Transit Oriented Development (TOD). Read the whole report here.

Executive Summary

The parking rules in the City of San Diego are generally collected in the Municipal Code, not in individual community plan documents. This presents an opportunity for parking policy to become streamlined, and comprehensive in its approach. However, current parking rules in San Diego lack cohesion.

Parking policy in San Diego is complex, inconsistent, and difficult for developers to navigate. The parking code represents a hodgepodge of different policies, layered on top of one another over time, reflect a variety of sometimes conflicting and shifting policy goals. In some circumstances, parking minimums for new developments are reduced because of lower expected or demonstrated demand. More frequently, parking minimums are increased, on the assumption that certain areas need added parking, or perhaps more cynically, to keep new developments from coming to those neighborhoods at all. 

“For almost every new home constructed in San Diego, at least one new parking space is required to be built.”

For almost every new home constructed in San Diego, at least one new parking space is required to be built. This is true for even studio apartments and other homes well served by transit. San Diego’s parking rules assume every resident will drive for all of their trips. These rules are inconsistent with reality, where many San Diegans do not own a car, or would like to live without having to own a car and pay rent for car storage in the form of a reserved parking spot.

Parking minimums for new developments are generally intended to reduce the impact of a new building to the neighborhood, by limiting the number of new neighbors that use limited street parking. However, parking requirements for new developments have a variety of unintended consequences, famously identified as the “High Cost of Free Parking,” by Professor Donald Shoup, including the tendency to encourage traffic and drive up development costs and rents for end users.

While parking minimums may serve important purposes in some circumstances, parking minimums that are too high can hurt neighborhoods and limit the ability to achieve smart growth goals. The City of San Diego should examine parking reforms that will allow the City to meet its Climate Action Plan goals, and implement the General Plan’s City of Villages Strategy.

Key Findings

  • Requests to lower parking requirements are burdensome and time-consuming.
  • Reduction in parking minimums for areas near transit are minimal and limited.
  • Assumption that all future residents will drive will not support mode share goals in the Climate Action Plan.

Read the entire report here [PDF] - [HTML]



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