Newly built house? The parking space is no longer a matter of course
Project developers are increasingly getting the go-ahead to build new homes without (private) parking space. The municipal authorities authorize this in order to obtain a sufficient number of affordable housing units more quickly. The downside is conflicts with residents, as in Nijmegen.
Parking takes up space and land is scarce and expensive. This makes it attractive for project developers to build homes without their own parking space. In cities like Amsterdam and Utrecht, national parking standards (1 to 1.8 parking spaces per dwelling) have already been reduced in recent years. In the east of the country, Nijmegen and Arnhem are also working on new construction projects that no longer guarantee (own) parking spaces.
In the Thuishaven project in Nijmegen – part of the largest new construction area in Havenkade – parking is clearly limited. Some of Thuishaven’s 324 owner-occupied and rental apartments are now complete and the associated parking lot does not offer enough space for everyone, writes Gelderland.
No private parking and no parking permits
Residents who recently moved into one of the 38 completed owner-occupied apartments in the project knew they would not get their own parking space, but relied on a parking permit from the municipality. This will not happen, according to the municipality, because there are too few parking spaces in the neighborhood anyway. A considerable setback for buyers, especially since paid parking (€13.80 per hour) was introduced in the neighborhood during the construction of housing.
According to De Gelderlander, these are mostly 30-somethings with a family and a job who cannot do without a car. They were only confronted with the absence of a permit during the delivery. Some residents are already considering moving because they now have to park the car too far away.
The promoter of the project, Bouwfonds Area Development (BPD) and the municipality point the finger at each other. BPD says nothing was promised regarding parking at the time of the sale and holds the municipality responsible for the changed parking policy. But the council says it was clear from the start that there would be no parking spaces or permits and that the developer should have told buyers.
The Waalsprong, a new residential area in the north of Nijmegen where thousands of houses are being built, also does not offer its own parking spaces. A resident tells De Gelderlander that there are only 15 parking spaces available for 50 apartments. Parking in front of others in the neighborhood seems like the only option. “They aren’t expecting that either. When all the houses here are finished, it will be even worse.
Fewer parking lots to solve the housing shortage
A few kilometers away, in Arnhem, the city council also gave last summer green light for houses without private parking. This concerns houses (often apartments) in the city center and around public transport nodes. Forgoing large parking lots and garages for these new construction projects helps solve the housing shortage, the city council says.
The province of Gelderland applauds the choice to reduce the number of parking spaces in the city center projects. In total there must be in Gelderland 100,000 new homes by 2030. Cities like Nijmegen and Arnhem, but also the smaller Veenendaal are already reaching their limits. The province has developed a set advices for municipalities on the new parking policy. “We want to speed up housing construction, but parking standards often lead to delays and postponements. One parking space for each dwelling is too much,” MP Peter Kerris said in the spring when presenting the package.
“Living without a car is wishful thinking”
Cars take up a lot of space in residential areas: including streets and sidewalks, they account for 40-60% of public space. The car takes up a lot of public space, so it’s no surprise that municipalities are considering reducing the view of the street, says Walther Ploos van Amstel, lecturer in urban logistics at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. .
Still, living without a car is “wishful thinking,” he says. Many people really cannot do without a car, for example because of their work. Only if the three Bs come together (availability of alternatives, affordability and reliability) are people ready to live a car-free life, says Ploos van Amstel. People want to know if they can arrive in time, if they can continue to provide informal care for their parents, and if they can get home in time afterwards. “A car is terribly reliable.”
Municipalities are now considering alternatives such as shared cars and bikes. This number is growing rapidly.
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