One of the simplest things individuals can do to fight climate change is drive less, or not at all. That's relatively easy in much of Chicago, where there are a wealth of alternatives to private car ownership: walking, biking, Divvy, e-scooters, CTA, Metra, Zipcar, taxis, and ride hailing. It's especially convenient to live "car lite" or car free if you live near a train station or express bus service. Recently the Chicago City Council took an important step to address global warming by encouraging transit use and discouraging driving. Aldermen passed a transit-oriented development ordinance that allows additional housing density and essentially waives the usual off-street car parking requirements for new developments within a quarter mile of rapid transit stops or a half mile on designated "Pedestrian Streets."
CNT's eTOD Social Impact Calculator mapping tool allows users to analyze the financial, social, and environmental impacts of proposed developments to determine if there is adequate--or too much--parking being planned. For one such developmetn in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood, "Given the location and the mix of bedrooms, we calculate that . . . there will only be 0.17 car spaces used per unit, or about 42 spots," Haas says. "So I think [107 spaces] is plenty of parking, if not too much."