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Encouraging people to drive to the bar

I get funny looks when the subject of zoning ordinances comes up, mostly because I end up hijacking the conversation to talk about the insanity of our parking laws.

But if other people are talking about it on their blogs, it’s only fair that I get to mention it here:
>[D]id you know that American cities usually require off-street parking at bars? To take a random example, the city of Long Beach, CA requires 20 parking spaces for every 1,000 square feet of gross floor area for “taverns.” I don’t know what the city thinks people are doing at these bars, but I assure you it’s drinking.

>This is how insane our mentality is. Even bars, businesses whose sole purpose is to sell alcohol for on-site consumption, “need” off-street parking. Even though we know that people drive to them, drink, and drive home. Drink and drive. Yeah, lets make sure these people have plenty of free parking.

Obviously it could be the case that some of those tavern patrons are designated drivers, but I’m opposed to the signal we’re sending here via our zoning laws: that a business which sells alcohol for immediate consumption is required to have a certain number of parking spaces. I don’t know on what planet that made sense to the lawmakers who wrote the code, but here on Earth, we’ve got a serious drunk driving problem and a serious greenhouse gas problem, both of which are exacerbated by these ill-thought-out regulations.

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