Discussing Ithaca, New York’s plan to increase permitted density and reduce parking minimums, I can dig what Matthew Yglesias says :
The distributive impact of parking minimums is to redistribute income from people who don’t own cars to people who do own cars—not to shift income from poor to rich. A rich family will probably have at least one car for every family member who’s at least 16 years old. A family of more modest means will probably own fewer vehicles.
More generally, while I’m obviously not a hard-core free marketers, it does make sense to consider a free market position our default position. Mandating the construction of extra parking doesn’t reduce harmful environmental externalities. Rather, it generates them. It doesn’t help the neediest members of society, it makes it more difficult for them to afford housing. It doesn’t correct important information deficits—people are perfectly capable of asking whether or not a house they’re considering buying or renting comes with a reserved parking space.
Update: here’s a follow up.