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Portland Study Checks Effects Of Apartment Buildings Without Parking

Portland planners have been studying the effect on neighborhoods when apartment buildings don’t offer parking.

Proposals for buildings without parking across Portland’s east side have spurred neighborhood opposition.

Developers have suggested that most residents in buildings without parking don’t own cars.

Northeast Portland Apartment Construction

Northeast Portland Apartment Construction

Rob Manning/OPB

City planner, Joe Zehnder, says a study released this week finds that 72 percent of residents in a sample of eight such buildings owned cars. Zehnder says that’s lower than the citywide average of 88 percent.

Zehnder says in general, smaller buildings without parking don’t create shortages on neighborhood streets.

“Most of those — I think the average size is around 40 units, it seems to be working, ” says Zehnder. “But there may be something that happens when a building gets very large in a neighborhood setting, and doesn’t provide parking.”

Zehnder says that’s one area that needs further study.

City planners also looked into developers’ argument that providing parking adds so much cost, it makes apartments unaffordable. Zehnder says the study found at least one relatively affordable option — so-called “tucked-under parking,” on a building’s first floor.




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