Parking Solutions

A Comprehensive Menu of Solutions to Parking Problems


TDM Encyclopedia

Victoria Transport Policy Institute


Updated 17 April 2015

This chapter describes and evaluates various solutions to common parking problems, including sharing, regulating and pricing of parking facilities, more accurate requirements, use of off-site parking facilities, improved user information, and incentives to use alternative modes. For more information see Parking Management: Strategies, Evaluation and Planning.




Every vehicle trips requires parking at its destination, so parking facilities are an integrated component of the roadway system. Parking is one of the first experiences that people have when traveling to a destination. Convenient and affordable parking are considered a sign of welcome. Parking that is difficult to find, inadequate, inconvenient or expensive will frustrate users and can contribute to spillover (motorists parking where they should not). As a result, inadequate parking supply can create problems to both users and nonusers.


However, excessive parking can also create problems. Parking facilities are expensive to construct, imposing financial costs on developers, building users and governments. In addition, parking facilities impose environmental costs, contradict community development objectives for more livable and walkable communities, and abundant, unpriced parking tends to increase driving and discourage use of alternative modes


Parking Management Paradigm Shift

Parking Management represents a paradigm shift, that is a change in the way parking problems are defined and potential solutions Evaluated.


Old paradigm: motorists should nearly always be able to easily find, convenient, free parking at every destination. Parking planning consists primarily of generous minimum parking requirements, with costs borne indirectly, through taxes and building rents.


New paradigm: parking facilities should be used efficiently, so parking lots at a particular destination may often fill (typically more than once a week), provided that alternative options are available nearby, and travelers have information on these options. This means, for example, that parking lots have a sign describing available , that motorists may often have a choice between paid parking nearby, or free parking a few blocks away. It also requires good walking conditions between parking facilities and the destinations they may serve. Parking planning can therefore include Shared Parking, Parking Pricing and regulations, parking User Information, and Walkability improvements.



This chapter describes various solutions that can be applied to parking problems. It can help expand the range of solutions considered, and identify the best one to use in a particular situation. Table 1 lists the parking solutions described in this chapter. See Parking Evaluation for information on factors to consider when comparing and selecting these strategies.


Table 1          Parking Solutions Described in This Chapter

Increase Parking Supply

Use Existing Parking Capacity More Efficiently

Address Variable Demand

Reduce Parking Demand

Respond to Spillover Impacts

Management and Design

Minimum Parking Requirements


Increase On-Street Parking


Subsidize Off-Street Parking


Remote Parking


Redesign Existing Facilities


Car Stackers

Improve User Information


Encourage Use Of Remote Parking


Regulate Parking


Pedestrian Improvements


Shared Parking


Public Parking


Access Management


More Accurate Parking Requirements


Control Parking Passes

Parking Brokerage Services


Overflow Parking Plans


Variable Pricing






Price Parking


Tax Parking


Commuter Parking Benefits


Improve Transport Alternatives


Transportation Demand Management


Reduce Parking Supply


Bicycle Parking

Regulate, Price And Enforce


Compensate For Spillover Impacts

Improved Enforcement


Universal Design


Parking Location


Safety And Security




Charge Impervious Surface Fees


Reduce Stormwater and Heat Gain Impacts

This table shows the parking solutions described in this chapter. Headings show general approaches, with specific strategies listed below.



Parking Solutions

This section describes general approaches to solving parking problems, and specific ways to implement these solutions.


Increase Parking Supply

Description: Have developers, businesses or governments build more parking facilities.


Advantages: This is a well-accepted solution supported by existing planning practices. It tends to be politically popular. It minimizes transaction costs. Because unpriced parking is usually income tax exempt, it is financially attractive (a typical employee must earn nearly $2,000 annually in pre-tax income to pay for a parking space that costs employers only $1,000). It is considered fair overall, since an average consumer bears their share of parking facility costs.


Disadvantages: It costs developers, businesses or governments hundreds of dollars per space in annualized costs (Table 2), increasing business overhead costs and taxes that are ultimately borne by consumers. It represents a subsidy to driving, and is unfair to people who drive less than average. It encourages driving, which increases traffic congestion, crashes and environmental impacts. It creates low-density, Automobile Dependent land use patterns, a less pedestrian-friendly environment, and discourages infill development.


Table 2          Typical Costs Per Space (Parking Evaluation)

Location & Type

Land Costs

Land Costs

Construction Costs

O & M Costs

Total Annualized Cost


Per Acre

Per Space

Per Space

Annual, Per Space

Annual, Per Space

Suburban, Surface, Free Land






Suburban, Surface






Suburban, 2-Level Structure






Urban, Surface






Urban, 3-Level Structure






Urban, Underground






CBD, Surface






CBC, 4-Level Structure






CBD, Underground






This table illustrates typical parking facility costs. Also see the Parking Cost Spreadsheet.



Below are some specific strategies for increasing parking supply.


Minimum Parking Requirements

Description: Establish minimum off-street parking requirements in zoning regulations and development policies, and raise these minimums as needed to accommodate growth in parking demand. It is helpful to coordinate such requirements among jurisdictions in a region in order to avoid conflicts.


Advantages: This is a common way to increase parking supply. It is easy to implement in most communities by adjusting existing zoning codes and development policies. Generous minimum parking requirements for new construction can be justified because it is usually much more expensive to add parking capacity later.


Disadvantages:  It imposes high economic and environmental costs, adding thousands of dollars per space to development costs. It is slow to implement and so cannot solve immediate parking problems. It is inflexible and standard parking requirements do not necessarily represent demand at a particular site (Shoup, 1999a). It is unfair to people who use less parking than average. It places the full cost of solving parking problems on new development, even if parking problems result from a shortage of parking at existing facilities. It discourages new, infill development, which can contribute to urban blight, and reduces housing affordability (Location Efficient Development).



Increase On-Street (Curb) Parking

Description: Design streets with parking lanes. Convert traffic lanes to parking lanes. Minimize restrictions for on-street parking. Convert parallel to angled parking. In smaller commercial centers, onstreet parking may provide most of the parking supply.


Advantages:  On-street parking is convenient, visible and cost efficient. It is a form of Shared Parking, with each space serving many destinations, and so tends to have a high load factor. It does not require access lanes, and so uses less land per parking space than off-street parking. It is relatively inexpensive. On-street parking can provide a buffer between pedestrians and vehicle traffic. Converting parallel to angled parking increases capacity (it can almost double the number of spaces), and make parking faster and easier (Edwards 2002).


Disadvantages: Only a limited amount of curb parking can be provided in an area. It often involves trade-offs with traffic lanes, bike lanes, sidewalk space, and other uses of street space. Parallel parked cars are a hazard to cyclists, particularly if lanes are narrow. Under some conditions, angled parking increases the rate of collisions, although it tends to reduce their severity.



Subsidize Off-street Parking

Description: Use public resources to build parking facilities. This can include direct government funding, free or discounted land provided to developers, tax exemptions and other favorable tax policies, and public parking facilities incorporated into public-private-partnership projects.


Advantages:  It increases the supply of public parking where it is most desirable from a community perspective. Governments can control when and where parking supply is added.


Disadvantages: It tends to be expensive, and represents a public subsidy for driving. It is slow to implement (planning and constructing new parking facility can take years). It is inflexible, resulting in expensive structures that have few alternative uses if expected demand does not occur.



Add Remote Parking Spaces

Description: Develop additional parking where land is relatively inexpensive and available (off-site parking for an individual building or facility, or fringe parking for a commercial district). Provide information and incentives to encourage longer-term parkers (particularly commuters) to use the remote parking. This can include signs, brochures, pedestrian improvements, shuttle services, free transit zones, regulations (particularly limits on the length of time a vehicle can be parked at more convenient spaces) and pricing (remote parking is unpriced or relatively inexpensive).


Advantages: Less expensive than increasing central area parking supply. May allow use of otherwise unused land, such as odd-shaped or contaminated parcels. By shifting parking spaces and traffic it allows increased density and reduce traffic impacts in central areas, improving efficiency and environmental quality.


Disadvantages: Is less convenient than closer parking. Remote parking spaces may not be used. May require additional costs, such as subsidized shuttle service or enforcement. May involve paving greenspace.



Redesign Existing Parking Facilities

Description: Increase the number of spaces in existing parking facilities by using currently wasted areas (corners, edges, undeveloped land, etc.) and sizing a portion of spaces for motorcycles and compact cars. Small size stalls (275 square feet) require about 20% less space than average stalls (325 square feet). Up to 25% of spaces can typically be sized for compact vehicles, resulting in a 5% increase in total parking capacity compared with all spaces being average size. Motorcycle parking can sometimes be located in an area that is too small for automobile parking spaces.


Advantages: Can be an inexpensive way to increase capacity.


Disadvantages: Potential is usually limited. Current trends are toward larger parking spaces due to increasing average vehicle size and requirements for disabled vehicle parking. May reduce user convenience or involve paving greenspace. May involve additional repainting and repaving costs.



Car Stackers and Mechanical Garages

Description: Car stackers and mechanical garages use various types of lifts and elevators to increase the number of vehicles that can fit in a parking structure. They can nearly double the number of vehicles that can be parked in a given area.


Advantages: Stackers and mechanical garages can significantly increase the number of vehicles that can be stored in a particular area. They are a flexible way to address growing demand for parking spaces at relatively low construction cost and no additional land requirements.


Disadvantages: Relatively high equipment and operating costs (although usually less than building additional structured parking). Only suitable in parking structures with attendants. Increase time required to park and retrieve vehicles. Unsuitable for many types of vehicles (vans and trucks).



Use Existing Parking Capacity More Efficiently

Description: This involves strategies that result in more efficient use of existing parking facilities, resulting in increased occupancy rates or load factors. Called performance based parking, which refers to pricing designed to rationally allocate parking supply (Shoup, 2008).


Advantages: This can be a quick, cost effective and flexible way to solve parking problems. It supports TDM and Smart Growth objectives, and most strategies reflect Market Principles. Some strategies improve consumer services and Transportation Choice.


Disadvantages: It may require new planning and administrative structures. It may be less convenient to users than increasing parking supply.


Below are specific strategies to encourage more efficient use of existing parking capacity.



Provide Parking Information to Users

Description: Provide information on parking availability and price using signs, brochures and maps, websites, and parking information incorporated into general marketing materials. Provide real-time information on the location of available parking spaces.


Advantages: Can be a cost effective solution to some parking problems. Is quick and flexible. It tends to reduce motorist delay and frustration, and increase user satisfaction. Information may be incorporated into existing marketing material at little extra cost.


Disadvantages: Potential impacts may be limited. Imposes costs. Providing accurate real time information tends to be difficult and expensive.



Encourage Use of Remote Parking

Description: This involves encouraging long-term parkers (commuters and residents) to use off-site or fringe parking facilities. This can include information (signs, maps and brochures) on remote parking availability; regulations and pricing that encourages long-term parkers to use urban fringe facilities; and shuttle services, free transit zones and pedestrian facilities to improve access to such parking facilities.


Advantages: May be a quick and inexpensive way to solve city center parking problems.


Disadvantages: Is inconvenient. May not be successful. May require additional costs, such as subsidized shuttle service.



Regulate Parking

Description: Public parking can be regulated to support parking and transportation objectives.

Regulate Time

Limit the maximum time a vehicle can park in more convenient spaces, to encourage turnover and shift long-term parkers to less convenient facilities. Time limits for the most desirable spaces typically range from 3 minutes for loading zones, up to 2 hours.

Regulate Users

Limit the types of vehicles that may use certain parking spaces, including delivery vehicles, rideshare vehicles, and residents’ vehicles.

Regulate Certain Vehicles

Limit on-street parking of large vehicles or recreation vehicles, to ease traffic flow and discourage people from using public parking resources for long-term storage.

Regulate On-Street Parking

Prohibit on-street parking on certain routes at certain times (such as on arterials during rush hour), to increase traffic lanes.



Advantages: Allocates the most desirable parking spaces to preferred users. Imposes minimal direct costs on governments. Is widely used and understood, and so is easy to implement.


Disadvantages:  Imposes costs for planning, signs and enforcement. Users often find regulations confusing and frustrating. Favors some motorists and businesses over others. Enforcement tends to be unpopular.



Pedestrian Improvements

Description: Pedestrian Improvements paths and sidewalks, shortcuts, covers and shade, crosswalks, and Address Security Concerns. New Urbanist design principles can help create more pedestrian-friendly streetscapes and neighborhoods.


Advantages: This increases the range of parking facilities that can serve a destination, and creates a safer, more pleasant experience for users. Can be part of an overall program to improve pedestrian conditions and encourage alternative transportation.


Disadvantages: Requires financial and land resources. Implementation may require new planning and funding practices, particularly for improvements on private property, and for creating new shortcuts.



Shared Parking

Description: Share parking facilities among users. This can occur at different scales, as described below.


Zoned Rather Than Assigned Spaces (Shared Parking #1)

Description: Share parking among a group of employees or residents, rather than assigning to individuals. For example, 50 employees or residents can usually share 30-40 parking spaces without problem, particularly if implemented in conjunction with other Commute Trip Reduction and Location Efficient Development strategies.


This can be a consumer option. For example, motorists could be offered an assigned space for $100 per month, or a shared space for $60 per month. This allows individuals to decide whether they are willing to pay extra for an assigned space, or capture the savings that result from shared parking.


Share Parking Between Sites (Shared Parking #2)

Description: Share the use of off-street parking facilities among different buildings in an area to take advantage of different peak periods (see Table 3). For example, an office complex can efficiently share parking facilities with a restaurant or theaters, since offices require maximum parking during weekdays, while restaurants and theaters require maximum parking during evenings and weekends. As a result, the total amount of parking can be reduced 40-60% compared with standard off-street parking requirements for each destination. Barton-Aschman Associates (1982) and ITE (1995) provide specific recommendations for shared parking implementation.


Table 3          Peak Parking Demand

Weekday Peaks

Evening Peaks

Weekend Peaks



Distribution facilities


Medical clinics


Professional services


Bars and dance halls

Meeting halls




Religious institutions


Shops and malls


This table indicates peak parking demand for different land use types. Parking can be shared efficiently by land uses with different peaks.



Advantages: Quick, flexible and inexpensive way to use parking facilities more efficiently.


Disadvantages: It may require additional administration and enforcement activities. Users accustomed to assigned spaces may object. There may be inadequate capacity during unusual peak demand periods.



Public Parking/In Lieu Fees

Description: Public parking can be a particularly efficient type of Shared Parking since each space can serve many users and destinations. As a result, 100 public parking spaces can be equivalent to 150 to 250 private parking spaces. Developers or building owners can be allowed or required to pay in-lieu fees that fund public parking facilities as an alternative to minimum requirements for private off-street parking (Shoup, 1999b).


Advantages: Can be a cost effective way to provide parking.


Disadvantages: It may require additional administration and enforcement activities. It may be less convenient to users than a separate parking facility at each site. There may be occasional problems during unusual peak demand periods.



Access Management

Description: Access Management refers to improved coordination between roadway design and land use to reduce traffic problems. It tends to convert automobile-oriented strip development into more Clustered development with fewer driveways and improved pedestrian connections between sites. This allows shared parking and improved travel choices.


Advantages: It can result in more efficient use of parking facilities and provide other benefits, including reduced congestion and crashes, improved transportation choice, more efficient land use, and improved streetscape aesthetics.


Disadvantages: It requires additional administration and enforcement activities, and it may impose costs on government and businesses.



More Accurate and Flexible Parking Requirements

Description:  This involves developing minimum parking requirements that more accurately reflect a site’s parking demand, taking into account specific geographic, demographic and management conditions (ULI 2000; Millard-Ball 2002; Kodransky and Hermann 2011). For example, minimum parking requirements can be higher in more automobile-oriented locations and lower at locations that are more Accessible, have priced parking, or have TDM programs. Current parking standards tend to reflect parking demand in automobile dependent, suburban sites with unpriced parking, and so tend to be excessive in areas with better travel options, mixed land use, priced parking or other TDM strategies (Shoup 2002). The Land Use Impacts on Transportation chapter describes methods that can predict how land use and transportation management factors can reduce parking demand. The table below summarizes some of these effects.


Table 4          Travel Impacts of Land Use Features (Land Use Impacts)

Land Use Feature

Reduced Vehicle Travel

Residential development around transit centers.


Commercial development around transit centers.


Residential development along transit corridor.


Commercial development along transit corridor.


Residential mixed-use development around transit centers.


Commercial mixed-use development around transit centers.


Residential mixed-use development along transit corridors.


Commercial mixed-use development along transit corridors.


Residential mixed-use development.


Commercial mixed-use development.




Special efforts may be required to develop variable parking requirements that are politically and administratively acceptable. 


·         Consult stakeholders to identify specific concerns related to variable parking requirements.


·         Establish standard methods to determine the minimum parking requirements at a particular site, based on defensible research.


·         Establish Transportation Management Associations that offer parking brokerage services so facilities with excess parking capacity can sell, lease or trade it to others. This allows all building owners to benefit from flexible parking requirements, not just developers of new facilities.


·         Develop ways to evaluate results and correct spillover problems or increased future demand. For example, there could be requirements that if a lower level of parking supply proves inadequate, developers will be required to implement additional TDM strategies or build additional parking facilities in the future.


Advantages: Flexible standards that more accurately reflect demand at a particular site are more efficient and fair than inflexible parking requirements.


Disadvantages: May require new planning and administrative responsibilities. May be abused if applied inconsistently. Some planners and developers may consider them unfair.


Overbuilding Parking in Chicago

Matthew Yglesias (26 March 2012), Slate (


It turns out that customers for apartments and condominiums in downtown Chicago aren't wanting as much parking as developers had thought. Demand for parking spaces at downtown apartment buildings is dropping precipitously—a shift that's causing developers to rethink the way they build and market their buildings.


About 40% of renters are leasing spaces at Lakeshore East, the Magellan Development Group LLC community that will have eight apartment and condo towers when the last building, currently under construction, is finished, says Brian Gordon, the Chicago-based company's vice president of development. “We used to project 55%,” he says. “We've definitely seen a decline.”


One natural response would be for developers to build less parking in the future, thus allowing them to either put up more housing units or make the units cheaper. But that response is actually unlikely to occur because "the required parking for new residential buildings downtown ranges from 0.55 to one space per unit, depending on location."


Note that one problem with this regulatory minimum is that it makes it harder for existing buildings to recoup the losses previously incurred through overbuilding of parking. In a more flexible environment it wouldn't matter so much if one building had overshot in its provision of parking, because that would simply allow for other buildings to undershoot and then people could lease a space in a garage across the street (I grew up in a Manhattan household with a car and a garageless building and this is what we did) and it would roughly balance out over time. Also note that demand for parking spaces is relatively low despite the spaces being artificially cheap due to zoning-induced oversupply. Absent the car-promoting legislation, parking would be more expensive and demand for parking spaces would be somewhat lower. Meanwhile, with fewer cars per household there would be more business opportunities in serving non-car households, which would reduce the utility of car ownership on a forward-looking basis.




Control Use of Parking Passes

Passes that allow motorists to use parking facilities are often not carefully controlled. For example, an employee may be given a parking pass for official business trips, but use the pass for personal use. Campuses sometimes give complementary parking passes as an reward for special achievements (for example, the University of California gives a free parking pass to professors who win the Nobel Prize), and as a reward to funding contributors. City officials are sometimes given a parking pass that allows unlimited use of all public parking facilities, which are then used for personal errands.


More careful control of parking passes can reduce inappropriate use of parking facilities. This involves establishing written guidelines that specifically define who may receive a complementary parking passes and under what circumstances it may be used. Managers responsible for distributing such passes can be made aware of their full cost to an organization. Each agency or group can be limited in the total number of passes they may distribute. Passes can be limited to specific users, types of trips, areas, times and vehicles. For example, a pass can be limited to a particular vehicle, and not transferable to family and friend’s cars. The distribution of parking passes can be regularly audited. They can have a time limit, such as one year, after which they must be reissued.


Advantages: Reduces inefficient and unfair use of parking passes. Can help reduce total parking demand. Sets an example that parking is a valuable resource that should not be provided free. Is fair.


Disadvantages: Advantages: Flexible standards that more accurately reflect demand at a particular site are more efficient and fair than inflexible parking requirements.


Disadvantages: May increase administrative and enforcement responsibilities. May upset some employees and officials.



Address Variable Demand

Description: Develop ways to accommodate changes in parking demand, including temporary peaks long-term increases.


Advantages: Can provide efficient, quick and flexible responses to parking problems. May avoid more expensive solutions, such as increasing parking supply.


Disadvantages:  Requires new planning and administrative institutions.


Below are specific strategies for responding to changing parking demand.



Parking Brokerage Services

Description: Develop a service that helps businesses to share, lease or sell parking, so that any available parking can be available for use by those that need it. This can be performed by a Transportation Management Association, a business organization, or a local government agency. This service is particularly important for businesses that implement Commute Trip Reduction programs that result in excess parking capacity.


Advantages: Can be a quick and cost effective solution to parking problems.


Disadvantages: Requires an appropriate administrative structure. May have limited impacts if few businesses have excess parking capacity.



Develop Overflow Parking Plans

Description: Develop a plan to deal with occasional periods of high demand (such as busy shopping days in a retail area, special events, emergencies, etc.). This plan may include policies that prioritize use of parking (for example, making the most convenient spaces available to customers and rideshare vehicles, and directing employees to use less convenient spaces), information for motorists on where to find additional parking, shuttle services and free transit zones, and special TDM programs that encourage use of alternative modes.


Advantages: Can be a quick and cost effective solution to occasional parking problems.


Disadvantages: Requires planning and administration, and may involve various costs (such as shuttle services). May cause spillover parking problems in other areas.



Variable Pricing

Description: Use pricing that is higher during peak periods and lower at other times. For example, downtown parking fees may be discounted during the morning and higher during the afternoon. Marketing efforts can promote mornings as an inexpensive time to shop downtown, which may shift some trips.


Advantages: Can be a quick and cost effective solution to variable parking problems.


Disadvantages: Requires implementation of parking pricing systems that can vary by time period (Pricing Methods). May increase spillover problems (parking congestion in areas with unpriced parking).



Reduce Parking Demand

Description: This includes strategies that give people an incentive to reduce automobile travel and shift to other modes or destinations.


Advantages:  Can be a flexible, quick and cost effective way to reduce parking problems. Can help achieve a variety of transportation and land use objectives, including reduced congestion, facility cost savings, road safety, environmental protection and more efficient land use. Many TDM strategies increase consumer choice and financial savings.


Disadvantages: These strategies tend to require changes in current practices, and some increase transaction costs. Motorists may consider them inconvenient and unfair. To the degree that these strategies shift automobile travel to other locations, they may cause spillover problems or competitive disadvantage.


Below are specific strategies for reducing parking demand.


More Accurate and Flexible Parking Standards

Current parking requirements are often inflexible and generous, applied with little consideration to specific geographic and demographic factors that affect parking demand at a particular location (Cervero and Arrington 2009; Engel-Yan and Passmore 2010; Litman 2006; Millard-Ball 2002). Parking requirements are based on parking generation studies that are mostly performed at new, suburban sites with unpriced parking, resulting in standards that tend to be excessive in urban areas with more multi-modal transportation, where parking is priced, and at sites with TDM programs (Shoup 2002). Current minimum parking standards are often inflexible, applied with little consideration to specific geographic, demographic, economic and management conditions.


Advantages: This reduces development costs, supports smart growth development, and provides a foundation for parking management.


Disadvantages:  May result in parking congestion, particularly if implemented without efficient parking management.


Reduce Residential Street Width Requirements

Most jurisdictions require wide residential streets in order to provide on-street parking. This practice is not justified for safety or by consumer demands, since many households would not choose to pay for parking if it were unbundled, and so represents a hidden subsidy of automobile ownership and use (Guo, et al. 2012). Reducing minimum residential street widths in municipal zoning codes and development policies allows developers to build new urbanist communities with narrower streets and less parking, and rely more on efficient parking management.


Advantages: This reduces development costs, supports smart growth development, and provides a foundation for parking management.


Disadvantages:  May result in parking congestion, particularly if implemented without efficient parking management.


Parking Pricing

Description: Charge motorists directly for using parking facilities. Even a relatively small parking fee can cause significant travel impacts and provide significant TDM benefits (Parking Pricing). Governments directly control prices for on-street parking, off-street parking at public facilities (offices, schools, parks, etc.), and municipal parking facilities. This often represents a significant portion of total parking, particularly in urban areas with parking problems. Shoup (1995) recommends creating Parking Benefit Districts in residential areas that experience parking problems, which involves charging non-residents for parking on local streets, and returning a portion of the revenue to neighbourhood residents. Two California cities, Pasadena and San Diego have implemented this policy (Shoup, 2002). Solomon (1995) proposes leasing or selling on-street parking spaces.


Public policies can encourage pricing of privately owned parking. Governments can reduce the supply and increase the price of public parking, reduce parking requirements in zoning codes, and avoid tax policies that favour free parking.


Businesses can unbundle parking (rent parking separately, rather than automatically including it with building rentals), so consumers can choose how much parking they wish to pay for (Russo 2001). For example, under current practices an apartment might rent for $1,000 per month, which includes two parking spaces. Unbundling could mean that the apartment alone rents for $800, plus $100 for each parking space. This typically reduces parking demand by 10-30%.


Prices can be structured to achieve particular objectives. For example, more convenient parking spaces can be priced to favor customers and clients, with hourly rates, “First Hour Free” discounts, and two hour maximums. Other parking can be priced to favor long-term parkers (commuters and residents), with discounted monthly rates.


Below are specific Parking Pricing strategies:


·         Price parking to cover facility costs, fund transportation programs, and as a demand management strategy to reduce congestion. Charge market-based rates as much as possible.


·         Using variable prices, with higher rates during peak periods and lower prices during off-peak periods.


·         Price on-street parking as much as possible (Shoup, 2002). Create Parking Benefit Districts, with revenues used to benefit local communities (Shoup, 1995).


·         Allow residents and firms to lease on-street parking spaces in front of their homes or business, for customers and personal use (Solomon, 1995).


·         Use better fee collection methods to make Parking Pricing more cost effective and convenient (Pricing Methods).


·         Rent parking spaces by the hour or day, so motorists can purchase just the amount of parking they need. Avoid discounts for long-term parking leases.


·         Reduce or eliminate employee parking subsidies, so automobile commuters pay some or all of their parking costs. If pricing is infeasible, Cash Out free parking, so employees who use alternative commute modes receive a comparable benefit.


·         Price and manage parking to favor customers. For example, price the most convenient parking by the hour, for use by customers, and lease less convenient parking by the month, for use by employees. Provide “One Hour Free” parking coupons to business customers.


·         Avoid excessive parking supply. Use Parking Management to encourage more efficient use of existing parking facilities and address any spillover problems that result from pricing.


·         Develop Transportation Management Associations to provide parking management and brokerage services in a particular area.


·         Unbundle parking from housing, so apartment and condominium residents pay only for the parking spaces they need (Location Efficient Development).


·         Tax parking spaces, and encourage or require that this cost be passed on to users. Change tax laws and practices so that they are less favorable to free parking. For example, assess land devoted to free parking at the same rate as land that is used for buildings.


·         Provide free or discounted parking to Rideshare vehicles.


·         Use TDM Marketing and other information resources to provide information on parking prices and availability, and on alternative travel options.



Something For Nothing?

Most people seem to enjoy getting something for nothing, or at least a particularly good deal when making a purchase. Perhaps it is the modern manifestation of our primal hunting instinct. A prize or discount often motivates consumers to buy goods that they hardly need at all, simply to enjoy the feeling of accomplishment and reward. As a result, many businesses set an excessive “regular” price for their products and then offer a discount that brings prices down to a competitive level, or they offer a nearly worthless “free” gift or prize to attract customers.


Often, what seems like “something for nothing” is really an illusion: what you save in one pocket you pay from another. What seems like true economic savings is really an economic transfer, with costs borne elsewhere in the economy. Transportation is full of such hidden costs: what appears to be an opportunity to save money actually makes consumers worse off overall.


For example, motorists are generally accustomed to unpriced parking, and once consumers are accustomed to getting something for free they tend to assume that is right and fair, and so they resist paying for it. But these facilities are not really free, we pay for them indirectly through higher taxes (for public parking), higher prices on retail goods (for parking provided by businesses) and lower wages (for parking provided by employers). When parking is unpriced consumers have little incentive to ration their use, for example, by walking, cycling, ridesharing or using public transit when possible to reduce parking demand. As a result, parking congestion problems are virtually unavoidable and total parking costs increase. Paying directly rather than indirectly for roads and parking tends to be more efficient and fair overall, that is, it reflects Market Principles.



Advantages: Pricing is an efficient way to reduce parking demand, address parking congestion problems and support TDM objectives. Pricing parking can be considered fairer than subsidized parking.


Disadvantages:  Charging for parking incurs transaction costs, including equipment and administrative costs of collecting fees, and inconvenience to motorists. In areas with low demand, revenue may not cover transaction costs. Pricing systems can be difficult to understand, inconvenient to use, and prices often seem arbitrary and excessive. It is considered unfair that some motorists must pay for parking if others are able to park for free. Although customers ultimately pay for free parking in the price of goods they purchase, it may seem fairer that they only pay if they make a purchase, shifting the risk from the consumer to the merchant.


Were free parking is common, it is difficult for an individual property owner to price parking, since motorists will park at the unpriced parking facilities, causing spillover problems and competitive disadvantage.


The Price of Parking on a Great Street

By Donald Shoup, Parking Today (, February 2009


How can curb parking contribute to making a street great? A city can (1) charge performance-based prices for curb parking and (2) return the revenue to the metered districts to pay for added public services. With these two policies, curb parking will help to create great streets, improve transportation, and increase the economic vitality of cities.


Performance Parking Prices
Performance-based prices can balance the varying demand for parking with the fixed supply of curb spaces.


We can call this balance between demand and supply the "Goldilocks principle" of parking prices: the price is too high if many spaces are vacant, and too low if no spaces are vacant. When a few vacant spaces are available everywhere, the prices are just right. After the city adjusts prices to yield one or two vacant spaces in every block (about 85 percent occupancy), everyone will see that curb parking is readily available. In addition, no one can say that performance parking prices will drive customers away if almost all curb spaces are occupied. Prices that produce an occupancy rate of about 85 percent can be called "performance-based" for three reasons. First, curb parking will perform efficiently. The spaces will be well used but readily available. Second, the transportation system will perform efficiently. Cruising for underpriced curb parking will not congest traffic, waste fuel, and pollute the air. Third, the economy will perform efficiently. The price of parking will be higher when demand is higher, and this higher price will encourage rapid parking turnover. Drivers will park, buy something, and leave quickly so that other drivers can use the spaces. Cities can achieve all these goals by setting curb parking prices to yield about an 85 percent occupancy rate.


Local Revenue Return

Performance prices for curb parking can yield ample public revenue. If the city returns this revenue to pay for added public spending on the metered streets, citizens are more likely to support the performance prices. The added funds can pay to clean and maintain the sidewalks, plant trees, improve lighting, bury overhead utility wires, remove graffiti, and provide other public improvements.


Put yourself in the shoes of a merchant in an older business district where curb parking is free and customers complain about a parking shortage. Suppose the city installs meters and begins to charge prices that produce a few vacancies. Everyone who wants to shop in the district can park quickly, and the city spends the meter money to clean the sidewalks and provide security. These added public services make the business district a place where people want to be, rather than merely a place where anyone can park free if they can find a space. Returning the meter revenue generated by the district to the district for the district's own use can help to convince merchants and property owners to support performance prices for curb parking.


Suppose also that curb parking remains free in other business districts. Everyone complains about the shortage of parking, and drivers congest traffic and pollute the air while they search for curb parking. The city has no meter revenue to clean the sidewalks and provide other amenities. In which district would you want to have a business?


Performance prices will improve curb parking by creating a few vacancies, the added meter revenue will pay to improve public services, and these added public services will create political support for performance prices.


Parking Increment Finance

Most cities put their parking meter revenue into the city's general fund. How can a city return meter revenue to business districts without shortchanging the general fund? The city can return only the subsequent increment in meter revenue-the amount above and beyond the existing meter revenue-that arises after the city begins to charge performance prices. We can call this arrangement parking increment finance.


Parking increment finance closely resembles tax increment finance, a popular way to pay for public investment in districts in need of revitalization. Local redevelopment agencies receive the increment in property tax revenue that results from the increased property values in the redevelopment districts. Similarly, business districts can receive the increment in parking meter revenue that results from performance parking prices.


More meters, higher rates, and longer hours of operation will provide money to pay for added public services. These added public services will promote business activity in the district, and the increased demand for parking will further increase meter revenue.


Performance Parking Prices in Practice

Some cities have begun to charge performance prices for curb parking and return the meter revenue to its source. Redwood City, California, sets meter rates to achieve an 85 percent occupancy rate for curb parking downtown; the rates differ both by location and time of day, depending on demand. The city returns the revenue to the metered district to pay for public parking structures, police protection, and cleaner sidewalks.


Merchants and property owners all supported the new policy when they learned the meter revenue would pay for added public services in the downtown business district, and the city council adopted it unanimously. Performance prices create a few curb vacancies so visitors can easily find a space, the added meter revenue pays to improve public services, and these added public services create political support for the performance prices.


Most cities keep their meter rates constant throughout the day and let occupancy rates vary in response to demand. Instead, cities can vary their meter prices to keep occupancy constant at about 85 percent. The goal is to balance supply and demand everywhere, all the time. Most cities also limit the length of stay at meters so long-term parkers won't monopolize the underpriced curb spaces. But after Redwood City adjusted meter rates to guarantee the availability of curb spaces, it removed the time limits at meters.


This unlimited-time policy has turned out to be popular with drivers who can now park for as long as they are willing to pay. The demand-determined meter rates create turnover at the most convenient curb spaces, and long-term parkers tend to choose the cheaper spaces in off-street lots.

Other cities have also begun to adjust their meter rates to ensure the availability of curb parking. The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded grants to Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco to test performance prices for curb parking, and Washington, D.C., has already started them. Pasadena and San Diego return meter revenues to enhance public services in the metered districts.


Any city can use a pilot program to test Goldilocks parking prices for curb parking. All the city has to do is allow any business district that requests a pilot program to have one. It won't cost the city anything, because the meters pay for themselves. Dirty and unsafe streets will never be great, so the city can initially use the meter revenue to pay for clean-and-safe programs.


Many communities may value clean and safe sidewalks more highly than free but overcrowded curb parking. After the community is clean and safe, the parking revenue can pay for urban amenities such as street trees, underground utilities, and public transit improvements. Parking on a great street may not be free, but it will be convenient and worth the price.

*           *          *          *


For additional reading on this topic log on to, click on "magazine", search articles, and enter "Shoup". You will find various articles, links and references.


Donald Shoup, FAICP, is professor of urban planning at the University of California, Los Angeles. He has written many books and articles on parking, including The High Cost of Free Parking (Planners Press, 2005), which explains the theory and practice of parking management. He can be reached at


This article was adapted from a chapter in Planetizen Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning, edited by Abhijeet Chavan, Christian Peralta, and Christopher Steins. Washington, DC: Island Press, 2007, pp. 52-56.


Sidebar: Redwood City's Parking Ordinance

To accomplish the goal of managing the supply of parking and to make it reasonably available when and where needed, a target occupancy rate of eighty-five percent (85%) is hereby established.


The Parking Manager shall survey the average occupancy for each parking area in the Downtown Meter Zone that has parking meters. Based on the survey results, the Parking Manager shall adjust the rates up or down in twenty-five cent ($0.25) intervals to seek to achieve the target occupancy rate.


Revenues generated from on-street and off-street parking within the Downtown Meter Zone boundaries shall be accounted for separately from other City funds and may be used only within or for the benefit of the Downtown Core Meter Zone.



Curbside/On-Street Parking Best Practices (Weinberger, Kaehny and Rufo 2009)

·         Enforcement: Automated scanning enforcement as employed in Chicago, Illinois; parts of Virginia and Santa Barbara, California appears transformative, though in its early stages. Other technology, especially wireless, handheld devices with cameras have made traditional enforcement more efficient; as has software which automatically issues and tracks parking summonses.

·         Pricing Policy: Variable or peak hour metering in which the price is set based on a curbside occupancy target of under 85% is a logical and consistent way of managing a congested curb. San Francisco’s SFpark is the largest application of this approach, which is also employed in Redwood City, California, and in a flexible form by New York City’s Parksmart. Another effective practice is to both restrict curb access to commercial vehicles and meter them. New York City does this and adds an escalating meter fee of $2, $3, $4/hour to encourage short stays, high turnover and faster deliveries.

·         Payment Medium and Meters: Pay-by-phone is growing rapidly in popularity. Industry experts believe that remote payment will eventually replace meters. In the meantime, the state of the art meters are solar powered, multi-space meters which are in wide use across the U.S.

·         Building support for metering via Parking Benefit Districts and revenue return. In 20-30 special parking districts, in cities as varied as Boulder, Colorado, Los Angeles and San Diego, meter revenues support streetscape improvements to attract more retail business.



ParkSmart Increases Turnover (

The ParkSmart project in New York City found higher turnover and improved availability of on-street parking spaces after time-variable meter pricing was introduced, with higher rates during peak periods and lower rates off-peak (NYDOT 2009). The project found an increase in the number of available parking spaces compared with pre-implementation levels:

·         Parking space occupancy declined from 77% to 71% on Tuesdays and from 75% to 69% on Fridays during the noon to 4 p.m. period (while the peak rate is in effect).

·         Occupancies were only slightly changed on Saturdays, with occupancies at PARKSmart meters increasing from 67% to 71%, reaching an occupancy rate comparable to the weekday level.

·         Motorists were parking for a somewhat shorter amount of time; the frequency of those who parked for less than one hour increased by 12% (from 48% to 60%) of parkers in the pilot area, while the frequency of those who parked for more than one hour decreased by the same percentage.

·         Approximately 5% of meters were expired during pre-implementation, versus 4% after the six months.



Condo Buyers Shifting Away From Parking (
16 March 2015, By Alexandra Posadzki, The Canadian Press

TORONTO - When Barbara Lawlor first joined Baker Real Estate, a Toronto firm that markets and sells new condo developments, over two decades ago, selling a condo unit without an accompanying parking spot was a Herculean feat.

Today, only about a quarter of Baker's clients are looking to buy parking spots.

"It's an enormous shift in the buyer's attitude," says Lawlor, who is now Baker's president. "People don't want parking as much as they used to."

Parking spots are falling out of favour with many condo buyers, thanks to the proliferation of car-sharing services and a greater emphasis on transit and walkability by city dwellers.

"If you're on a really good transit route, you would certainly think twice about whether you need to buy a parking space," Lawlor says, noting that a parking spot in a downtown Toronto development can cost around $50,000.

Louie Santaguida, president and chief executive of Stanton Renaissance, had planned to build up to four levels of underground parking at his On The GO Mimico project, a condo development under construction in the west part of Toronto.

However, Santaguida says most buyers snatching up the units pre-construction aren't keen to shell out for parking, given that one of the building's selling points is that it's situated right next to a GO Train station that can transport residents downtown in minutes.

Santaguida is planning to apply to the city to have the building's parking requirement reduced.

"We're hearing more and more about developments that are coming up along good transit nodes that are actually asking for leniency around no parking, or minimal parking," he said.

"The trend is moving away from vehicle ownership, especially in urban centres like downtown Hamilton, downtown Montreal, downtown Toronto and downtown Vancouver. Because there's adequate infrastructure to get you where you need to go on a timely basis and quite frankly, in most cases, sooner than you can using a vehicle."

Vancouver developer Jon Stovell, president of Reliance Properties, says the city of Vancouver has been encouraging developers to reduce the amount of parking that they build, in order to reduce traffic congestion and encourage other forms of transportation including walking, biking and public transit.

"The parking ratios have been going down steadily for a long time, and they're getting to some really low levels now," Stovell said, nothing that developers used to build up to two parking spots per unit. Now, many are only building one parking stall for every two condo units.

In Toronto, Tribute Communities has erected a 42-storey condo tower with no permanent resident parking — just nine spots reserved for a car-share service. Knightsbridge Homes is proposing a similar development in Calgary.

Most municipal governments are coming to terms with the change and relaxing parking minimums, but some developers have faced resistance.

Santaguida's planned 30-storey condo project, rising out of the historic James Street Baptist Church, stirred up controversy, partly on account of not having a parking spot available for each unit.

The developer was challenged by trying to build an underground garage without disturbing the foundations of the former church.

After some deliberation, the city agreed to a proposal that will see Stanton Renaissance build 122 parking spots for the building's 259 units — but the decision has faced some criticism.

"Some people are resistant to any type of change," Santaguida said. "But you can only buck a trend for so long."



Tax Parking

Description: Special parking taxes can be used to reduce total parking demand, create a disincentive to drive, and raise revenue. These can include:


·         Special property tax on parking facilities.


·         Special sales tax on commercial parking transactions (for example, the city of San Francisco charges a 25% tax on commercial parking transactions,


·         Special taxes on employee parking subsidies.



Parking taxes have the greatest effect on travel behaviour if they are paid directly by users (Higgins, 1992). Taxes on parking providers may reduce parking facility supply, but only if the supply is elastic and not required by minimum parking regulations.


Advantages:  Taxes provide government revenue. They can be effective as part of an overall strategy to reduce total parking supply and manage vehicle use. Parking taxes can be considered a vehicle use fee, with revenues used to provide transportation services. Parking taxes offset other policies that underprice and undertax parking, such as income tax exemptions for employee parking benefits.


Disadvantages: Requires a collection system, which imposes transaction costs. Parking taxes tend to be opposed by motorists and businesses. They can be perceived as arbitrary and unfair, and cause competitive disadvantage to businesses, particularly if they only apply to some geographic areas. They only affect travel behaviour if motorists pay the fee directly, or if taxes result in reduced parking supply.


Nottingham Workforce Parking Levy Frequently Asked Questions (


What is a Workplace Parking Levy (WPL)?

The WPL would be a charge made for each parking place provided by an employer and used by employees, certain types of business visitors (for example agency staff, contractors and consultants) and pupils and students. It is a charge on the employer, not the employee. It is up to the employer whether or not to pass the charge on to their employees. Employers would be required to obtain an annual licence for the maximum number of liable places used over the course of a year.


Consultation on WPL was based on the proposals:

There would be City-wide charge.

All employers who provide workplace parking places would be liable.

Customer parking, fleet vehicle spaces, loading / unloading only spaces, powered two wheel vehicle spaces, and certain categories of business visitor places will be exempt from the scheme.

Parking places at emergency services and NHS frontline services would receive a 100% discount; and Businesses with 10 or less liable parking places, disabled places and powered two wheel vehicle places would receive a 100% discount.


Why WPL?

WPL is part of an overall transport package to tackle congestion consistent with local and regional transport policy. Its aim is to offer realistic alternatives to the use of private cars by delivering high quality sustainable public transport such as NET Phase Two and even better buses and a modern train station.


WPL is considered an appropriate tool to progress at this stage because:


WPL is a demand management tool which focuses on commuter parking, a main cause of congestion, particularly at peak periods;


WPL would further encourage the uptake of travel plans and responsible parking management policies;


WPL also applies as a land use planning tool in encouraging employers to give stronger consideration of the development potential/costs of land used as parking in the city; and

WPL represents a financially efficient, high value for money proposal, with relatively low development costs and shorter implementation timescales than alternative charging mechanisms.


This is particularly important in terms of securing NET Phase Two implementation in the most cost effective manner, in line with the proposed delivery programme and associated budgetary projections. Significant delay to NET Phase Two delivery would result in substantial cost increases and risk to successful project realisation


Which employers would be affected by the proposals?

Only those businesses that provide more than 10 liable places would be required to pay a charge. Therefore around 70-80% of City of Nottingham employers would not pay a WPL charge, although they would have to obtain a licence.


What about public sector organisations?

Apart from the emergency services and NHS premises, all other public organisations and bodies, including Nottingham City Council, would be treated in the same way as private employers.


Why not introduce a Road User Charging (RUC) system instead?

There are a number of challenges with the implementation of a RUC scheme including the unlikelihood of meeting NET Phase Two timescale.


A London style RUC (using camera recording of number plates entering an area) is financially inefficient when compared to a WPL. It is extremely costly to implement and much more expensive to operate and enforce. In London 40 – 50% of the first three years' charge income was spent on operating and enforcement costs.


RUC affects everyone whilst WPL is targeted at commuters – Nottingham's main cause of congestion.


Other forms of RUC, such as drivers being charged when they are on congested roads, may be trialled in Manchester but are dependent on sophisticated technology and are a long way from being proven and available.


What would the income collected by a WPL be used for?

Once operating costs have been covered all remaining income would go towards improving public transport such as expanding the successful NET system, upgrading Nottingham railway station and improving bus services.


Would WPL reduce congestion?

The direct impact of WPL on liable employers and their staff would likely result in a positive but modest impact on congestion. However when the improvements in public transport, such as NET Phase Two, which would be realised due to WPL income would have a significant impact on congestion.


The WPL package will create an increase in public transport capacity in the Greater Nottingham area contributing to a forecast growth in public transport journeys into the City Centre of over 20% from 2006 to 2021.


Together with the tram, train and bus improvements, the Levy is predicted to reduce traffic growth from 15% to only 8%. The number of public transport journeys in and out of the city centre will increase by 20% and the demand for Park & Ride will increase by 45%. The transport improvements will take 2.5 million cars off our roads by 2015.


Would employers affected by WPL move out of Nottingham?

It is recognised that there is a general negative view of the WPL proposals based on the perception that it will increase business costs and present an administrative burden whilst not guaranteeing to deliver transport and wider benefits. Consultants PWC however identified that WPL costs would be a very small percentage of a liable employers' turnover (less than 0.5% of turnover for 95% of businesses affected) and on balance advised that WPL would not have a significant impact on employers' investment and location decisions.


Would the WPL affect inward investment?

Consultants PWC concluded that WPL could adversely impact on the attractiveness of Nottingham to cost sensitive high-tech and service sectors unless it can be shown that WPL investment will realise real improvements in transport provision. NET Phase Two and bus improvements can achieve this offering the opportunity for a wider and more mobile employment market with consequent reductions in employment costs.


What happens if WPL is not introduced?

Employers will have less incentive to minimise their parking provision and encourage more sustainable commuter travel by their staff. Further investment in public transport would be unaffordable and some current services would have to cease. No other funding source is available to fully meet the 25% local NET funding, meaning that the tram network would not be realised.


What are the next steps for WPL?

The WPL legal Order was confirmed by the Secretary of State for Transport on the 31st July 2009.

The Order gives Nottingham City Council the powers to introduce a WPL in Nottingham in October 2011 (with 100% discount for all employers) and to introduce charging from 1st April 2012.


Why is it fair for employers in Nottingham to pay WPL?

Nottingham's major employers support the future growth and prosperity of this City. They recognise that congestion costs them money and that more tramlines and even better buses are key to any congestion tackling actions.


As commuters are the main cause of congestion in Nottingham, the City Council believes that it is only fair that employers accept their responsibility and proactively manage the traffic going to and from their employment sites and contribute to investment in public transport alternatives to the car. Ultimately employers will benefit from less congestion than otherwise would occur and employees will gain better public transport options.



Alternative Commuter Benefits

Description: This means that commuters are offered an alternative to parking subsidies (Commuter Financial Incentives). Below are specific types.


·    Parking Cash Out means that commuters who are offered subsidized parking are also offered the cash equivalent if they use alternative travel modes.


·    Travel allowances are a financial payment to employees to cover commuting costs instead of unpriced parking. Commuters can use this money to pay for a parking space or for another travel mode.


·    Transit and rideshare benefits are free or discounted transit fares provided by employers. Convenient transit fare vouchers are available in many regions.



Advantages: These strategies are an effective way to reduce parking demand. They have a similar effect as pricing parking, but cause little or no user opposition. These strategies are often highly valued by some commuters, and are considered more equitable than only providing parking benefits. They can be implemented quickly and are flexible (for example, these benefits can be increased as needed to further reduce automobile commuting).


Disadvantages: These strategies require new administrative responsibilities and may add costs. Some businesses may perceive little or no financial savings from reduced parking demand (i.e., they own a sufficient amount of parking and have no alternative use for the parking facility or land).



Improve Transportation Alternatives

Description: This includes a wide range of specific strategies that improve Walking and Cycling, Ridesharing, Transit and Telework, in order to reduce automobile travel.


Advantages: These strategies reduce parking demand and vehicle use, providing a wide range of benefits, improve Transportation Choice, and support equity objectives.


Disadvantages:  May be expensive and ineffective at reducing parking problems. They may require new planning, financing and administrative systems.



Implement Transportation Demand Management Programs

Description: This includes a corporate, local, municipal or regional program to encourage more efficient travel patterns (TDM Programs).


Advantages:  Provides an institutional framework for implementing specific TDM strategies. Such a program can help achieve a variety of parking, transportation, safety and environmental objectives. It can increase travel choice and support equity objectives.


Disadvantages:  May be expensive and ineffective at reducing parking problems. They may require new planning, financing and administrative systems.



Reduce Parking Supply

Description:  Reducing parking supply tends to increase parking prices, and support strategic transportation and land use objectives, particularly if implemented as part of a comprehensive TDM and Smart Growth program (Millard-Ball 2002). The following are specific Parking Management strategies for reducing parking supply:


·         Reduced their minimum parking requirements in zoning codes and development policies.


·         Reduce minimum parking requirements for developments in more accessible locations (i.e., near transit stations, in areas with good walking facilities, etc.)


·         Reduce minimum parking requirements if developers implement TDM programs.


·         Use in lieu fees to fund shared parking instead of each building having its own off-street parking.


·         Limit the maximum amount of parking that can be built, either at individual sites, or by establishing a cap on total parking in an area.


·         Restrict specific types of parking facilities, such as temporary parking lots.



Advantages:  Reduces costs and subsidies to driving. Helps achieve strategic transportation and land use objectives.


Disadvantages:  May increase parking congestion and resulting spillover and competitive disadvantage problems. May require new planning, financing and administrative systems. May be ineffective at achieving objectives unless implemented in conjunction with other TDM strategies.



Bicycle Parking

Description: Add bicycle parking as a Bicycle Encouragement strategy.


Advantages:  Can be a cost effective way to encourage bicycle use. Can make use of small and irregular-shape spaces that are unsuitable for automobile parking.


Disadvantages:  There is often limited demand for bicycle parking facilities. High quality bicycle lockers and racks are moderately expensive (typically costing $50 to $500 per bicycle space). May be vulnerable to vandalism or abuse.



Respond to Spillover Impacts

Description:  Parking supply reductions, restrictions and pricing can result in parking problems in nearby areas as motorists seek additional or cheaper parking. For example, residents may complain about spillover parking from a nearby business area. There are various ways to address these problems as part of an area parking management program.


Advantages:  Addressing spillover problems directly can reduce problems and avoid public resistance to other parking management programs.


Disadvantages:  May require new administrative responsibilities and may add costs.



Parking Regulation, Pricing and Enforcement

Increase parking regulations, pricing and enforcement in areas that experience spillover parking problems. For example, in urban neighborhoods, limit use of on-street parking to residents and provide adequate enforcement. Price parking in areas that experience spillover parking problems.


Advantages: This can be an effective, inexpensive, quick and flexible response to parking spillover problems.


Disadvantages: This may require new administrative and enforcement responsibilities. Motorists may complain.



Compensate For Spillover Parking Impacts

Description:  Provide a benefit to residents who experience parking problems. For example, a high school can send complementary sport event tickets to residents of nearby streets who bear spillover parking problems. Shoup (1995) proposes using revenues from on-street parking in ways that directly benefit neighborhood residents.


Advantages: Can be an effective, inexpensive, quick and flexible response to spillover parking problems.


Disadvantages: May require new administrative and enforcement responsibilities.



Wit and Humor


Fifteen Innovative, Creative, And Absurd Experiments In Parking (



Management and Design

Description:  Parking facility management and design can affect convenience, comfort, security and aesthetics. Design and management standards can address various problems and help achieve transportation and land use objectives.


Advantages: Can address a variety of problems and provide a variety of benefits.


Disadvantages: May increase costs.



Below are some specific parking facility management and design improvements.



Improved Enforcement

Description: Effective enforcement is an important component of parking management. In most communities, where parking is free and abundant, motorists are unaccustomed to regulated or priced parking. Even people who would never think of stealing so much as a single candy from a grocery store will be proud of finding ways to avoid parking regulations and charges. It is therefore important to have adequate enforcement to help keep parkers honest.


To be effective parking enforcement must be frequent, fair and friendly. It is important to have adequate signs and notices that left motorists know what is required to park, how to pay, and the punishment they face for violations. Parking enforcement officers should be professional and courteous, offering information and assistance to people who have problems. Fines must be high enough to enforce proper parking behavior, without being so high that they seem excessive.



Universal Design

Description: Incorporate up-to-date standards to accommodate people with special needs and disabilities (Universal Design). This includes special parking spaces, and pedestrian facilities that are suitable for people with disabilities, curbcuts and ramps, and appropriate signage.



Parking Location/Site Design

Description: Locating off-street parking facilities behind buildings tends to create a more attractive and pedestrian-friendly streetscape (see New Urbanist design principles). Access Management encourages Clustering of buildings. This can be required in zoning codes and development practices, and supported by flexible parking requirements.




Description: Parking facilities can be designed to be more attractive, with appropriate landscaping, and detailing. Large parking facilities with unadorned cement structures and blank walls are generally considered unattractive. Favor parking management practices that minimize the amount of land devoted to parking facilities and driveways and that result in more, smaller facilities. In high-density urban areas or in areas with high aesthetic values it may be appropriate to restrict the use of surface parking, requiring underground and structured parking. Require or reward developers for aesthetic quality of parking facilities. Require maintenance and repair of parking facilities, including graffiti removal.



Groundfloor Retail

Description: Urban parking structures can be more attractive and make a positive contribution to the urban environment if they have ground floor retail fronting the sidewalk. Cities can require this in zoning codes or through design review, or they can provide incentives to encourage such designs.



Safety and Security

Description: Design facilities to minimize crash risk to vehicles and pedestrians, and to provide personal security with appropriate visibility, lighting, patrols and alarms (Address Security Concerns).



Access Management

Description:  Access Management involves changing zoning laws, planning practices and design standards to limit the number of driveways on arterials and highways, encourage clustered development, and create more pedestrian-oriented street designs. It often affects parking facility design and management.



Use Pervious Pavements

Use paving materials that allow water to percolate and grass to grow. These products are widely advertised in Landscape Architecture and similar magazines. An example is the Turfstone by Westcon ( which has 50% open space. Pervious cement is a porous paving material which permits rain and storm water run-off to percolate through. It is a mixture of cement, rock and lots of fiber, but no fines aggregate. The cement glues the rock to the fiber, and leaves holes through which water can drain trough ( Field studies indicate that these permeable surfaces reduce surface runoff, significantly reducing stormwater management costs (Booth and Leavitt 1999).



Charge Impervious Surface Fees

Charge land owners stormwater management fees based on their impervious surface area and the resulting contribution to public stormwater system flow volume. This encourages property owners to minimize their impervious surface and use on-site stormwater management practices and recreate natural hydrologic systems in order to reduce flows into public stormwater systems. Typical fees range from $3-30 per 1,000 square foot of impervious surface area (Project Clean Water, 2002; “Water Pollution and Hydrologic Impacts,” Litman, 2002).



Reduce Stormwater Heat Gain Impacts

Description: Stormwater management costs and solar heat gain (“heat island effect”) can be reduced by minimizing the total amount of land paved for parking, maximizing landscaping (particularly shade trees), using pervious pavements (such as pavement blocks with drainage gaps), incorporating on-site stormwater percolation, and using light-colored surfaces such as cement rather than asphalt (NEMO; Parking Management).




The table below rates parking solutions according to their ability to achieve various transportation and land use objectives.


Table 4          Comparing Solutions


Parking Congestion




Land Use

Consumer Benefits





Increase Parking Supply







Minimum Parking Requirements







On-Street Parking







Subsidize Off-street Parking







Redesign Existing Facilities







Add Remote Parking







Car Stackers







Use Existing Parking Capacity More Efficiently







Provide Parking Information







Encourage Remote Parking Use







Regulate Parking







Pedestrian Improvements







Shared Parking







Public Parking







More Accurate Requirements







Address Variable Demand







Parking Brokerage Services







Overflow Parking Plans







Reduce Parking Demand







Price Parking







Parking Taxes







Commuter Benefits







Improve Transport Alternatives







TDM Programs







Reduce Parking Supply







Bicycle Parking







Respond to Spillover Impact







Regulate, Price and Enforce







Compensate Spillover Impacts







Facility Design Improvements







Rating from 3 (supports this objective, very beneficial) to –3 (contradicts this objective, very costly or harmful). A 0 indicates no impact or mixed impacts.



This analysis indicates that solutions which encourage more efficient use of existing parking supply tend to provide greater overall benefits than solutions that increase parking supply. This suggests that efficiency-improving options should be implemented first, and capacity only expanded if other approaches prove ineffective.



Best Practices

·         Develop a comprehensive parking plan that identifies parking resources, problems, objectives, programs and management strategies. Periodically review parking issues and modify plans and practices as appropriate.


·         Develop a program to collect information on parking supply, demand, costs and prices, and if possible incorporate it into a GIS database that integrates with other mapping and planning data systems.


·         Consider a wide range of possible solutions to parking problems. Give equal consideration to strategies that encourage more efficient use of existing parking as strategies that increase parking supply.


·         Develop a comprehensive framework for evaluating parking solutions that accounts for direct and indirect impacts, and strategic transportation and land use objectives.


·         Rather than identifying a single solution to parking problems, develop combinations of solutions and use contingency planning. For example, identify strategies to implement first, and additional strategies to apply if needed.


·         Apply low-cost solutions that encourage more efficient use of existing parking supply. These include user information on parking availability and price, shared parking, regulations to prioritize use of the most desirable parking spaces, and pedestrian improvements to expand the geographic range of parking that serves a destination.


·         Apply pricing strategies to manage parking demand, recover parking facility costs and raise revenues for transportation programs. Use efficient pricing methods that minimize user inconvenience and transaction costs.


·         Integrate parking management with TDM and Smart Growth planning.


·         Use Transportation Management Associations to provide parking and transportation management services to users, and to provide parking brokerage services to businesses.


·         Develop overflow and spillover parking problems.


·         Use up-to-date design standards that make parking facilities safer and more convenient to users, and more attractive and less environmentally harmful to a community.



Case Studies and Examples


Downtown Pasadena Redevelopment (Kolozsvari and Shoup 2003)

During the 1970s Old Pasadena’s downtown had become run down, with many derelict and abandoned buildings and few customers, in part due to the limited parking available to customers. Curb parking was restricted to two-hour duration but many employees simply parked in the most convenient, on-street spaces and moved their vehicles several times each day. The city proposed pricing on-street parking as a way to increase turnover and make parking available to customers. Many local merchants originally opposed the idea. As a compromise, city officials agreed to dedicate all revenues to public improvements that make the downtown more attractive. A Parking Meter Zone (PMZ) was established within which parking was priced and revenues were invested.


This approach of connecting parking revenues directly to added public services and keeping it under local control helped guarantee the program’s success. With this proviso, the merchants agreed to the proposal. They began to see parking meters in a new way: as a way to fund the projects and services that directly benefit their customers and businesses. The city formed a PMZ advisory board consisting of business and property owners, which recommended parking policies and set spending priorities for the meter revenues. Investments included new street furniture and trees, more police patrols, better street lighting, more street and sidewalk cleaning, pedestrian improvements, and marketing (including production of maps showing local attractions and parking facilities). To highlight these benefits to motorists, each parking meter has a small sticker which reads, “Your Meter Money Will Make A Difference: Signage, Lighting, Benches, Paving.”


This created a “virtuous cycle” in which parking revenue funded community improvements that attracted more visitors which increased the parking revenue, allowing further improvements. This resulted in extensive redevelopment of buildings, new businesses and residential development. Parking is no longer a problem for customers, who can almost always find a convenient space. Local sales tax revenues have increased far faster than in other shopping districts with lower parking rates, and nearby malls that offer free customer parking. This indicates that charging market rate parking (i.e., prices that result in 85-90% peak-period utilization rates) with revenues dedicated to local improvements can be an effective ways to support urban redevelopment. Pasadena’s parking management program consists of many interrelated initiatives including (Sedadi, 2006):

·         Extensive public outreach to identify the distinctive parking needs of the community and to deliver appropriate services developed through public outreach

·         Provision of 7,100 public off-street parking spaces in commercial areas and promotion of shared used parking for mixed-use development to support land-use plans and economic development programs

·         Parking pricing and time restrictions to meet the needs of both commercial and residential areas throughout the City

·         Collaboration with the business community to improve commercial and retail parking services including shared parking and pooled parking to more effectively use existing parking supply and public parking pricing to support retail activities

·         A “Park Once and Walk” outreach campaign to reduce the number of vehicles in activity areas

·         Provision of transit park/ride parking facilities by the regional transit agency to increase ridership and address concerns about overflow parking in residential areas near transit stations

·         Installation of bike parking in City-owned facilities and at locations of major activity throughout the City

·         Management of on-street parking and curb loading provisions to accommodate delivery needs, short term parking, disabled parking and valet parking

·         Establishment of preferential parking district programs and an overnight parking program to address residential needs for controlled parking

·         Assessment of opportunities to improve the aesthetics of streetscape in active places through installation of well-designed and customer-friendly multispace meters

·         Partnership programs with the business community to address parking needs in retail and commercial districts

·         Design review of parking facilities to insure that they are consistent with the design guidelines for the surrounding areas, are safe for pedestrians, and are visually appealing

·         Consideration of parking needs in support of special events including potential impacts of spillover parking on adjacent neighborhoods

·         Enforcement of local and State parking regulations

·         Up-to-date web site information and printed material to inform the public about parking regulations, facilities and provisions

·         Coordination of parking management programs with other transportation strategies to develop a more effective comprehensive mobility program

·         Ongoing review of operating procedures to improve customer service and efficiencies

·         Ongoing review of technological advances to assess potential costs and benefits of applications to the City’s program



Residential Parking Unbundling and Carsharing (

The report, Getting More with Less: Managing Residential Parking in Urban Developments with Carsharing and Unbundling describes the following case studies:


Table 5            San Francisco Residential Unbundling and Carsharing Examples


Number of Units

Low Income

Target Market

Other Uses

Parking Supply

Opening Date

Soma Residences

278 rental units, studio, 1-bedrooms, live/work lofts

Almost 20%

Young professionals and students


250 unbundled spaces, approximately 200 are occupied by residents and 30 by nonresidents, 2 carsharing vehicles


Cubix Yerba Buena

98 for sale units, all Single Occupancy Room (SOR) units of less than 300 sq ft


Single persons with preference of a transit accessible location

5 ground floor commercial spaces

5 unbundled spaces with preference given to commercial tenants, 1 carsharing vehicle


1180 Howard Street

74 rental units, mix of 1-, 2-, and 3-bedrooms


Low income families

Commercial on the ground floor (Harvest grocery store)

66 parking spaces—4 of which are for the commercial space, all are currently used by the grocery, 1 carsharing vehicle


Mint Collection

410 Jessie Street (52 for-sale units) and 418 Jessie Street (25 rental units)


High end, entry level

Retail spaces on the ground floor

All spaces are unbundled; one 3-car high mechanical lift with one carsharing space, one 12-car high computerized puzzle lift


200 Second Street

70 for-sale units; mix of 1-, 2-, and 3-bedrooms. Only half of the units have been sold, so vacant units are now being rented.


Higher end, entry level. About half of the residents are architects and designers. Average age seems to be low 40’s and many are single.

: 4 live/work apartments, 1 retail space

81 spaces. Not unbundled, limit of 1 space per unit. 1 carsharing vehicle.


Soma Grand

246 for-sale units; a mix of 1, 2, and 3-bedroom units


Higher end, entry level

Ground-floor commercial space

360 unbundled spaces, entitled to 504 spaces (185 allocated to commercial uses and 145 allocated to residents), 2 carsharing vehicles.




Residential Garage Conversions (

Santa Cruz, CA has a special program to encourage development of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs, also known as mother-in-law or granny units), which often consist of converted or expanded garages, to increase housing affordability and urban infill. The city has ordinances, design guidelines and information materials for such conversions. Smallworks ( is a Vancouver, BC construction firm that specializes in small lane-way (alley) housing, which are often converted garages.



Seattle Parking Programs (Snyder, Shepart and Helm 2006)

The City of Seattle converted from single-space parking meters to parking pay station. The City installed approximately 1,100 parking pay stations between 2004 and 2006 in downtown Seattle and neighborhood business districts. About 1,000 parking spaces have been changed from free to paid parking. There are now about 10,000 paid on-street parking spaces within the City of Seattle. The City manages parking to meet Comprehensive Plan goals to achieve vitality of urban centers and villages, reduce automobile trips, and improve air quality. Based on this experience, parking managers leaned the following lessons:



Tri-Met Parking Management (

The Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District, which manages transportation in the Portland, Oregon area, has implemented various parking management strategies around transit stations to minimize costs and support transit oriented development. These include:

·         Sharing parking with Park & Ride and other types of land uses, including apartments, churches, movie theaters and government buildings near transit stations.

·         Using lower minimum parking requirements around transit stations.

·         Allowing Park & Ride capacity near transit stations to be reduced if the land is used for transit oriented development, thus allowing walk/bike trips to replace car trips.



UK Maximum Parking Standards (

UK planning policy guides published by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions has maximum as well as minimum parking requirements designed to help reduce the car dependency of development and promote sustainable transport choices. For example, the proposed maximum parking standard for office buildings is 1 parking space per 35 square metres of gross floor space, for buildings above 2,500 square metres gross floor space. These standards have been derived from analysis of existing levels of parking, consideration of the potential for changing travel patterns and consideration of potential effects on investment.



Time-Based Pricing (K.T. Analytics, 1995)

The City of Chicago raised rates at municipal parking lots by 30-120%, bringing prices in line with commercial operators. Parking demand declined 35%, and parking duration also decreased. Parking at nearby commercial lots did not change significantly. Local planners concluded that this reduction represented a shift from driving to transit or ridesharing, or shorter duration parking. The City of Eugene raised monthly parking rates at two municipal garages from $16 to $30 per month, and at several surface lots from $6 to $16 per month. Monthly parking sales declined from 560 to 360 parkers. About half changed parking locations, the rest shifted modes.



More Accurate Parking Requirements

The City of Vancouver is developing a more flexible approach to parking requirements for multi-family dwellings to support efficient transportation, smart growth and affordable housing planning objectives. City staff have proposed a Sustainable Transportation Credit Program that allows developers more flexibility based on their specific location and circumstances. The program is loosely based on the LEED TM Green building rating system. Developers receive credits for reducing the number of parking stalls, providing parking spaces for carshare vehicles, and providing annual transit passes to building occupants.



Rich Sorro Commons, San Francisco, California (USEPA 2006)

Rich Sorro Commons is a mixed-use project with 100 affordable units and approximately 10,000 square feet of ground floor retail. Conventional standards would normally require 130 to 190 parking spaces for such a building, but it was constructed with only 85 parking spaces, due to proximity to high quality public transit services, the provision of two carshare parking spaces in the building, and the fact that the building provides affordable housing, with tenants who are less likely to own a car. Reduced parking supply freed up space for a childcare center and more ground-level retail stores. Just 17 avoided spaces allows the project to generate $132,000 in additional annual revenues (300 square feet per space at $25.80 per square foot in rent), making housing more affordable. Two carshare vehicles are available to residents, giving them access to a car without the costs of ownership – a particularly important benefit for low-income households.



York Parking Information

The first phase of a parking information system project introduced in York, UK will monitor traffic flow in each of the city’s car parks and inform a central computer of any spare capacity. Real-time information will be relayed to a network of road-side variable message signs at key locations, providing motorists with early warning if a car park is full and where alternative parking is available. Information will also be supplied through a dedicated website. The local authority said it had been “astonished” by the results of a study it undertook into ways to increase parking capacity, which found over half of the city's parking spaces were unused on most days. The Council’s executive member for transport commented, “The problem most of the time is not that there is a lack of space, but that motorists simply don’t know where the spaces are.”



Fee In Lieu Programs (Gray 2004)

In lieu fees allow developers to pay into a fund for off-site municipal parking facilities instead of providing their own on-site parking. Below are examples of such programs.


Miami’s Coconut Grove, Florida (an upscale neighborhood of Miami)

Coconut Grove adopted a fee-in-lieu program in 1993 and has experienced considerable success. The fee is $10,000 per stall, or payments of $50/month/stall. Developers have opted out of 938 spaces, generating approximately $3 million in revenues. The funds were used to develop a 416-space garage with ground floor retail, study the feasibility of a downtown circulator, landscaping, and installation of traffic control devices to improve parking and pedestrian access. Business licenses can be revoked due to non-payment.


Lake Forest, Illinois

Lake Forest has had a fee-in-lieu policy for about 15 years. All funds generated must pay for parking acquisition or development. The impetus was a desire to preserve the historic character of the downtown. The fee was recently increased from $14,000 to $22,000 per stall. The city considers the program effective, and developers use the option frequently.


Jackson, Wyoming

Jackson Wyoming adopted a fee-in-lieu policy in 1994, in conjunction with a new Comprehensive Plan and the adoption of parking minimums. The fee-in-lieu option was in response to concerns that the parking minimums would hinder economic development. The per-stall fee ranges from $1,000 (up to four stalls) to $10,000 (more than 41 stalls), depending on the number of stalls being opted out. The City does not have a specific obligation regarding timeline or proximity of new parking, but the funds raised are restricted to construction of parking only. The policy is used frequently.


Bend, Oregon

Bend’s policy was adopted in 1992. It was initiated due to concerns about constrained land for development. Developers have the option of building, leasing off-site, or paying the fee. The option has been used frequently but the fee was set very low ($510 per stall). There are no specific obligations regarding timeline or proximity, but the fees must go into the parking fund to provide parking facilities in or adjacent to the CBD.



Austin Parking Benefit District (    

Many neighborhood experience parking spillover problems, including difficulty finding parking for residents and visitors, concerns that public service vehicles cannot pass two lanes of parked vehicles on the street, or that parking on the street reduces neighborhood attractiveness. The city of Austin, Texas is addressing these problems by allowing neighborhoods to establish Parking Benefit Districts (PBDs). A PBD is created by metering the on-street parking (either with pay stations on the periphery of the neighborhood or with the traditional parking meters) and dedicating the net revenue (less costs for maintenance and enforcement) towards neighborhood improvements such as sidewalks, curb ramps, and bicycle lanes. The PMD may be used in conjunction with a Residential Permit Parking program to ensure that parking is available for residents and their visitors.



Performance-Based Parking Pricing (  

Redwood City, California, sets performance-based prices to achieve an 85% occupancy rate, and returns the revenue to the metered districts, as outlined in a city ordinance.



Aspen, Colorado (

Aspen, Colorado is a rapidly growing resort community. In 1991 the city built a 340-space underground parking structure in the city center, but despite its convenient location and low price it remained half-empty most days, while motorists fought over on-street parking spaces nearby. Most spaces were occupied by locals and downtown commuters who would perform the “Ninty Minute Shuffle,” moving their cars every 90 minutes to avoid a parking ticket.


In 1995 the city began charging for on-street parking using multi-space meters. Parking fees are highest in the center and decline with distance from the core. Parking is priced on nearby residential streets, but residents are allowed a limited number of passes. The city had a marketing campaign to let motorists know about the meters, including distribution of one free $20 prepaid parking meter card to each resident to help familiarize them with the system. Each motorist was allowed one free parking violation, and parking control officers provide an hour of free parking to drivers who were confused by the meters. Although some downtown workers initially protested (opponents organized a “Honk if you hate paid parking” campaign the day pricing began), pricing proved effective at reducing parking problems and six months later the program was supported by a 3-to-1 margin in the municipal election. Most downtown business people now support pricing to insure that convenient parking is available for customers, and to raise funds for city programs.



Parking Cost Savings Make Retail Chain More Profitable

“Mexican Chain Thrives Selling U.S. Surplus,” Wall Street Journal, May 10, 2002, p. B1.

Retailer Saad Nadhir established a successful chain of discount stores in Mexico. One factor that contributes to his profitability is parking cost savings: “Even in the poorest U.S. neighborhoods, retailers give over as much as half of their space for parking, while in Mexico most shopper walk.” With relatively low profit margins (volume retailers typically net just 5-15% on sales), a modest facility cost savings can significantly increase profits. For example, if 20% of a businesses’ net revenues are typically devoted to building rents, 20% of building rents are devoted to parking facilities, and businesses currently earn 10% net profits, a business that reduces its parking requirements by half (perhaps by sharing parking or encouraging employees to use alternative modes) can increase its net profits by 20% compared with a competing businesses with otherwise comparable costs.



University of Wisconsin Parking Meters (NALGEP 2005)

To improve parking management the University of Wisconsin is replacing conventional parking passes, which provide unlimited use of parking facilities, with in-car meters that hang on rearview mirrors and work in conjunction with pre-paid debit cards. These meters only charge users for the actual amount of time a vehicle is parked, allowing commuters to save money when they reduce their automobile trips. The new system is popular with motorists (initial demand far exceeded program planning projections), it improves the campus landscape by eliminates the need for traditional meters, and provides data on parking demand that is useful for planning.



Using Parking Revenue to Support Transit (USEPA, 2006)

Faced with a shortage of customer parking, Boulder, Colorado encourages downtown employees to use alternative commute modes. The city uses revenue from downtown parking meters to subsidize bus passes for 7,500 downtown employees and to support other commute trip reduction activities. The city also offers discounted bus passes to residents and non-downtown businesses. The program has freed up customer parking spaces and reducing parking costs, congestion, accidents and pollution emissions. Employee carpooling increased from 35% in 1993 to 47% in 1997. The district’s employees require 850 fewer parking spaces. More available parking has increased retail activity in downtown Boulder.



Centralized Parking (USEPA 2006)

To encourage downtown development the Chattanooga Area Regional Transit Authority  developed peripheral parking garages with free shuttle service. By constructing parking facilities at either end of the business district, the system intercepts commuters and visitors before they drive into the city center, reducing traffic problems. Free shuttle buses are financed through the garages’ parking revenues. They depart from each garage every five minutes all day, every day, and pass within walking distance of most downtown destinations. The electric-powered shuttles transport approximately one million riders each year, making shuttle-served property attractive to businesses. Since 1992, when the shuttle service began, over $400 million has been invested in the downtown, including a major freshwater aquarium, over 100 retail shops and 60 restaurants.



Commercial Street Parking Management (

The character of Bay Ridge, NY is largely defined by its bustling retail streets. Easy access to this area is important to nearby residents both for shopping and for the frequent contact with friends and neighbors that builds a strong community. Planners identified a number of potential ways to improve access to these commercial streets by parking management and encouraging use of alternative modes by shoppers and employees. After careful analysis of the options they identified several specific strategies that provided the equivalent of approximately doubling the local parking supply:

·         Use Pay-And-Display parking meters rather than individual parking meters, which allow more vehicles to be parked on a length of curb.

·         Encourage Shared Parking, to increase the utilization of off-street lots.

·         Support employee Commute Trip Reduction programs.

·         Use angled rather than parallel parking.

·         Use variable priced meters that are higher during peak periods, coupled with residential parking meters to avoid spillover parking problems.



Campus Parking Management (Isler, Hoel, Fontaine, 2005)

A survey of university campuses indicate that many are converting parking lots to buildings, fewer are adding parking capacity, and many are implementing various parking and transportation management strategies in order to devote more campus land to academic facilities rather than parking lots. Typical parking management strategies include permits, meters, cash-out program, prohibitive policy for freshmen, and eligibility based on residential location. Annual permit fees varied by location of campus and location of a parking space within the campus. Various strategies are used to deal with spillover parking problems.


Redeveloping Transit-Station Area Parking Lots (CNT 2006)

The study, Paved Over: Surface Parking Lots or Opportunities for Tax-Generating, Sustainable Development?” ( ), evaluates the potential economic and social benefits if surface parking lots around rail transit stations were developed into mixed-use, pedestrian friendly, transit-oriented developments. The analysis concludes that such development could help to meet the region’s growing demand for affordable, workforce, senior, and market rate housing near transit, and provide a variety of benefits including increased tax revenues and reduced per capita vehicle travel. The parking lots in nine case studies are estimated to be able to generate 1,188 new residential units and at least 167,000 square feet of new commercial space, providing additional tax revenues, plus significant reductions in trip generation and transportation costs compared with more conventional development.



Flexible Parking Requirements

The Seattle, Washington municipal code allows total parking requirements to be reduced up to:

·         Two spaces for each car pool vehicle.

·         Six spaces for each vanpool vehicle.

·         10% if transit passes are provided to all employees and transit service is within 800 feet of the development.

·         1 space for every 4 covered bicycle parking spaces provided, to a maximum of 5% of the total parking requirement.



Regional Park

A regional park currently has 50 parking spaces. This is inadequate during peak periods (summer weekends). Planners determine that 50 additional parking spaces are needed. The total annualized cost of building and maintaining the facility is $10,000, and requires paving ½-acre of parkland.


Conventional Solution: Build 50 additional parking spaces. Charge a year-round, $1 daily parking fee to fund additional parking.


Alternative Solution: Charge a $4 daily parking fee during the peak season to fund transportation services and reduce automobile trips. Use revenue to:

·         Produce a brochure describing transportation and parking options at the park, with information on recommended overflow parking options (“If the main parking lot is full you may want to park ¼-mile south on the shoulder of Bulger Road”).

·         Produce signs displayed on park access roads indicating when parking will be filled and the location of alternative parking facilities.

·         Provide subsidized shuttle service from downtown during peak periods, with several stops along the way. Charge $1 per round trip or $4 per family. Encourage park staff to use this service for commuting.


Evaluation: Both solutions address the parking problem. However, the alternative solution preserves parkland, reduces roadway traffic congestion and crash risk, and improves travel options for non-drivers.



Commercial Development

A barber is developing a new, 5-chair shop in a suburban community. The barber knows that convenient parking will be important for customers and employees. During peak periods, a 5-chair barbershop requires 14-16 parking spaces (5 barbers, 1 receptionist, 5 customers being served, 2-4 customers waiting their turn).


Conventional Solution: Develop a parcel of land with driveway access to a major arterial, construct a building with 16 parking spaces.


Alternative Solution: Develop the barbershop in a cluster of buildings that also includes an auto parts shop, a restaurant, and professional offices, which share 30 parking spaces. Because these businesses have different peak periods, they can efficiently share parking, reducing total parking requirements.


If 30 parking spaces prove to be insufficient at certain times, offer employees a financial incentive to use alternative commute modes or remote parking spaces.


Evaluation: Both solutions provide adequate parking, but the Alternative Solution is more cost effective, supports Access Management objectives (fewer driveways on arterials reduce traffic congestion and crashes), and provides more convenience (employees and customers can walk to the restaurant for a meal, rather than having to drive).



Downtown Parking Congestion

The downtown area of a small city (50,000 population) city is experiencing increased business activity and residential development that results in parking congestion, particularly during business hours. Downtown businesses are concerned that this will give them a competitive disadvantage compared with suburban malls. Downtown on-street parking is regulated (2-hour maximum) but free. Some off-street parking is priced.


Conventional Solution:  Raise parking requirements for new development. Use municipal taxes or developer charges to finance construction of municipal off-street parking facilities.


Alternative Solution: Develop a downtown transportation management plan. The plan includes the following:


·         Identify which parking facilities residents and employees should use, and which should be reserved for customers and clients.


·         Implement pricing of all municipal on- and off-street parking in the core area, with hourly rates that are higher during peak periods and lower rates during off-peak periods. Offer discounted monthly rates only for parking at the urban fringe.


·         Use parking revenues to fund a downtown Transportation Management Association (TMA), which provides parking and transportation information (signs, brochures, website, etc.), promotes shared parking, provides brokerage services to match businesses that have excess parking with those that need extra parking, encourages employees to use downtown fringe parking designated for commuters, and promotes use of alternative transportation.


·         Establish flexible parking requirements that allow developers to pay an in lieu fee for public parking as an alternative to building private off-street parking, and reduced parking requirements for development with accessible locations and TDM programs.


·         Improve pedestrian access between downtown and remote parking facilities, including better pedestrian facilities, improved street crossing, shortcuts, and improved security.


·         Establishes Access Management policies that encourage clustered development and improved pedestrian connections between sites.


·         Establishes policies and programs to deal with spillover parking problems, management of overflow parking during special events.


·         Identifies additional options if parking problems continue, including increased parking prices, additional parking supply, shuttle services, and TDM programs.



Evaluation: Both solutions address parking congestion problems. The Alternative Solution is more cost effective overall, reduces the amount of land paved for parking facilities, increases density and mix, and increases transportation choice.



Advanced Parking Management Systems (FHWA, 2007)

Advanced parking management systems (APMS) help people find parking spots quickly. This includes a variety of information networks, ranging from Web-based information systems to navigation systems that provide turn-by-turn directions to an individual parking space. These systems have proven successful at improving motorist satisfaction, reducing delays and illegal parking, increasing parking facility utilization and encouraging shifts to alternative modes.

·         At Baltimore-Washington International (BWI) Airport, nearly 13,000 hourly and daily parking spaces are served by an advanced parking management system. During an initial test period, the system increased customer satisfaction and improved traffic flow in the hourly facilities. The stakeholders’ praise the system.

·         In San Francisco, advanced parking management increased the probability that commuters would leave their personal automobile and switch to transit.

·         In downtown St. Paul, an advanced parking management system demonstrated positive impacts for patrons looking for special event parking and reduced congestion at a key intersection during the period immediately preceding special events. In the time period preceding a major special event, the estimated vehicle delay at the intersection of West 7th Street & Kellogg Boulevard decreased by 10%, while the total intersection volume increased by 15%.



Context-Specific Requirements and TDM (USEPA 2006)

Arlington County, Virginia is an urban area directly across the Potomac River from Washington, DC. It adopted countywide development standards and guidelines to encourage more efficient transportation and land use development, including reduced and more flexible minimum parking requirements. Every development is required to have a transportation plan, which establishes parking requirements based on location and use factors, which can be reduced if projects include demand management features such as transit and rideshare subsidies and encouragement programs. Parking is encouraged to be below ground, or if at surface level, it must be in a structure that is wrapped with occupiable ground floor space to reduce visual impacts.


The Market Common is a mixed-use development with retail and restaurant space, 300 market-rate apartment units on upper floors, and adjacent office space, located in Arlington County, three blocks from two Metro stations. Project developers devised a shared parking strategy. Under typical parking requirements the development would have required over 2,000 parking spaces. Under the Arlington County Code, the project would have required 1,504 spaces for the retail, housing, and office space. But using a shared parking strategy the development was able to reduce the requirement to 1,160 spaces. It has no assigned spaces for residential units—all spaces are equally available for all uses. Parking demand is reduced by unbundling parking from rent (residents pay $25 per month for one space and $75 to $100 per month for a second space), pricing (non-residents pay $1 to $4 per hour, with higher rates for longer stays), and features that encourage use of transit and cycling. Parking surveys performed after the project was completed and fully occupied indicate that up to 20% of available parking remains unused at peak times, indicating even more potential for parking management and supply reductions.



Unbundling Parking (New York Times, 12 Nov. 2006)

According to Professor Donald Shoup, author of ''The High Cost of Free Parking'' (American Planning Association, 2005), that the nation ''got it the wrong way around,'' with policies that result in expensive housing and cheap parking, but the change is under way. Condominiums without parking are already common in Manhattan and a few other East Coast city cores, but downtown Los Angeles still mandates 2.25 parking spaces for any unit, and Houston requires 1.33 spaces for a one-bedroom and 2 spaces for a three-bedroom, with a committee reconsidering these minimums along the light-rail line.

Portland eliminated central city parking minimums six years ago; Seattle reduced multifamily housing parking minimums in three major commercial corridors last year and may eliminate them in six core districts and near light-rail stations next month; and San Francisco, which gained more downtown housing in the last few years than in the previous 20, replaced downtown minimums with a maximum of 0.75 parking space per unit. ''The city's modus operandi is 'transit first,''' stresses city planner Joshua Switzky, pointing out that now downtown builders must ''unbundle'' the price of parking from the price of a condo and adding, ''Buyers aren't obligated to buy a parking space, and developers don't have the incentive to build spaces they can't sell.''

In downtown Seattle's neighborhood of Belltown, where the average condo has 1.5 parking spaces, the 251-condo Moda project, now under way, includes 83 units without parking, 125 with access to permit parking, and only 43 with assigned spaces, each priced at about $30,000 more than the others, and all 251 sold within a week. The same happened with 24 condos without parking in the 261-unit Civic project under construction near bus and light-rail stops six blocks from downtown Portland. The Gerding/Edlen Development Company ''decided to test the water and see if there was a market for units without parking spaces,'' says project manager Tom Cody. ''We're always looking for ways to promote smart growth.''



European Parking Management (Kodransky and Hermann 2011)

European cities are reaping the rewards of innovative parking policies, including revitalized town centers; big reductions in car use; drops in air pollution and rising quality of urban life, according to Europe's Parking U-Turn: From Accommodation to Regulation, published by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy. The report examines European parking over the last half century, through the prism of ten European cities: Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Copenhagen, London, Munich, Paris, Stockholm, Strasbourg and Zurich. It found:

·         European cities are ahead of the rest of the world in charging rational prices for on-street parking. In Paris, the on-street parking supply has been reduced by more than 9% since 2003, and of the remaining stock, 95% is paid parking. The result, along with other transport infrastructure improvements, has been a 13% decrease in driving.

·         Parking reforms are becoming more popular than congestion charging. While London, Stockholm, and a few other European cities have managed to implement congestion charging, more are turning to parking. Parking caps have been set in Zurich and Hamburg's business districts to freeze the existing supply, where access to public transport is easiest.

·         Revenue gathered from parking tariffs is being invested to support other mobility needs. In Barcelona, 100% of revenue goes to operate Bicing—the city's public bike system. Several boroughs in London use parking revenue to subsidize transit passes for seniors and the disabled, who ride public transit for free.

·         Parking is increasingly linked to public transport. Amsterdam, Paris, Zurich and Strasbourg limit how much parking is allowed in new developments based on how far it is to walk to a bus, tram or metro stop. Zurich has made significant investments in new tram and bus lines while making parking more expensive and less convenient. As a result, between 2000 and 2005, the share of public transit use went up by 7%, while the share of cars in traffic declined by 6%.


New York Parking Management (

New York City has limited parking supply and high parking prices in commercial lots, but on-street parking is poorly managed. Transportation Alternatives, a local advocacy organization, recommends the following reforms for more efficient management.

·         Increase the portion of on-street parking spaces that are priced. Most onstreet spaces are currently regulated but not priced. Applying pricing encourages more efficient use and provides revenues.

·         Increase prices to equal or exceed off-street commercial rates in order to encourage turnover and shift longer-term parkers to off-street spaces.

·         Better regulate parking permits. The activist group Transportation Alternatives estimates that 150,000 government issued parking permits are in circulation in New York. These are often abused, used for personal and commuting trips, which is unfair and stimulates additional vehicle use and parking demand.

·         Establish an overall city parking plan.



San Francisco On-Street Parking Management and Pricing Study (

The 2004 San Francisco Countywide Transportation Plan identified the need for better parking management at the neighborhood level. It called for improved on-street parking management through a variety of strategies to support policy goals and improve on-street parking conditions. In response the Transportation Authority undertook the On-Street Parking Management and Pricing Study to assess on-street parking conditions and investigate innovative approaches for more efficiently managing San Francisco's curbside parking. The study:



The study reached the following key conclusions:


Effective parking management requires a neighborhood-level approach. On-street parking management should be planned and coordinated at the neighborhood level, with attention to the tradeoffs associated with any strategy and the interactions between component parts of the parking supply (i.e., individual block faces and off-street supplies). Neighborhood-level parking management requires flexible approaches that can be tailored to an area’s conditions, needs, and priorities, which must evolve over time to reflect changing land use and travel patterns.


Existing management strategies are ill-suited for confronting key parking challenges. On-street parking regulations have developed incrementally over time, such that many neighborhoods are subject to an uncoordinated management regime that is misaligned with parking conditions and management needs. Existing strategies cannot address parking availability when there is an imbalance between supply and demand.


The most promising management approach for addressing imbalances between supply and demand is pricebased regulation, which also has significant secondary benefits. Variable pricing of on-street spaces according to parking demand is a strategy to ensure sufficient availability, improve utilization, and value on-street space appropriately. Addressing availability—within the confines of finite supply in an urban environment—is the central purpose and benefit of parking pricing. Secondary benefits include a reduction in “cruising” behavior and the opportunity to reinvest new parking revenues in transportation improvements.


Underpriced parking represents a significant source of untapped revenue that could be dedicated to transit-first uses; attempts to close this pricing gap must be planned and executed carefully, in a manner that the public will understand and support. Given that on-street parking in many areas is currently minimally regulated, future revenue gains have the potential to be substantial. It is doubtful that the public will support widespread parking charge increases without a clear link to tangible transportation improvements in the city’s neighborhoods. The “user fee” principle is also supported by providing a high-quality parking experience through improved payment options, real-time information, and flexible time limits. Currently, parking revenues are a crucial source of locally-generated and locally-controlled funding, which is prioritized to support Muni operations. Reinvestment of a portion of future new revenues will encourage neighborhood-level support for parking pricing, thus increasing the overall pool of funds from which transit stands to benefit.


Current parking policies contradict other planning objectives and warrant significant reform. Reforms to residential parking management are warranted to better value on-street space, create a more multimodal program, and provide more equitably distributed costs and benefits. Neighborhoods should have the ability to utilize pricing strategies to manage parking demand while returning benefits to the area in which revenues are collected.


The report made the following recommendations:


Re-balance the allocation of on-street spaces. The goal of re-balancing is to better accommodate varying demands within the confines of scarce supply. Examples of rebalancing include periodic consideration of the demand for commercial loading zones and evaluation of the appropriateness of various time limitations. This assessment should be done in cooperation with neighborhood residents and merchants, and other strategies and tools should be considered along with conventional regulatory strategies.


Regulate unregulated or under-regulated spaces. Where warranted, currently metered areas could be expanded, or unregulated spaces could be otherwise regulated. For example, studies in the Glen Park and Balboa Park neighborhoods revealed a substantial number of unregulated spaces that contributed to parking shortages and low turnover; these issues have since been remedied or are in the process of being addressed. A technical evaluation is required to identify the best regulatory design (e.g., meter vs. time limit vs. color curb). Typically, meters have been confined to the downtown area and neighborhood commercial corridors (and some adjoining blocks). Extending metering hours into the evening (until 10:00 p.m., for example) is appropriate in those areas with evening parking generators, such as restaurants or nightlife, where turnover is desirable, provided that adequate enforcement can be provided. Extension of metering into evening hours can provide a significant benefit to local commercial activity, by prioritizing metered spaces during high demand periods for shorter-term uses (rather than overnight storage).


Reform residential parking permit management. The existing RPP program provides benefits to a small group—eligible permit holders that store their car(s) on-street during weekday middays.


Establish a policy on the use of new incremental parking revenue. SFMTA has not articulated a clear policy on the use of any revenue gains associated with implementation of demand-responsive pricing. It is important to affirm the policy of applying the revenues to parking improvements and transit-first uses. SFMTA should clarify this policy and allow for public review and input into this decision.


Share some portion of net new revenues with the areas in which the monies are collected. By investing in the neighborhoods affected by parking pricing, tangible benefits will accrue to the areas that are priced and local impacts are mitigated. The public will be skeptical of any program that simply provides incremental revenue to an opaque budget that funds programs across the entire city. Specifically, it is recommended that if demand-responsive pricing results in at least 50% growth in parking revenue in a neighborhood, at least 25% of the net new revenue should be returned directly to the area in which it was collected. The affected community should have an opportunity to provide input into the program of projects funded by the parking revenue. This will help generate support for pricing programs, as well as increase the overall pool of funds from which Muni stands to benefit.


Pursue data-driven pricing policy, in support of articulated performance objectives. Ongoing system monitoring is a crucial component of demand-responsive parking pricing. This monitoring and analysis facilitates ongoing management and operation of the system guided by street-level outcomes.


Adjust parking rates systematically. In order to be effective, demand-responsive pricing requires periodic adjustments to parking rates. These adjustments must be performed frequently enough to seek the desired availability target but not so frequently as to obscure the behavior response. Overly frequent rate changes are also likely to engender public consternation and confusion. Monthly adjustments are appropriate for the first several months of implementation in a given area to allow for program managers to find the necessary price structure to meet performance objectives. Following the initial period, less frequent adjustments (such as quarterly) are warranted.


Coordinate demand-responsive pricing implementations in metered areas with the regulations in place on unmetered blocks, including warranted expansions of metered areas. The implementation of demandresponsive pricing is a unique opportunity to better manage parking on a neighborhood or area level. Current policies create an artificial distinction between blocks designated as commercial and residential. As demand-responsive pricing is implemented in neighborhoods, an assessment of parking conditions in metered and unmetered blocks is necessary. This assessment may reveal a need to expand the metered areas and/or metered time periods as new payment technologies and pricing strategies are implemented.


A Recommended Approach to Neighborhood Management: Parking Benefit Districts

Pricing is the most efficacious means of managing on-street parking when occupancy routinely exceeds practical capacity. A Parking Benefit District (PBD) program could be made available to neighborhoods facing parking challenges, regardless of whether the neighborhood is currently covered by an RPP. The PBD program would incorporate the following components:


• Allow neighborhoods to opt-in. Neighborhoods could elect (through an adopted administrative process) to create a PBD. If the neighborhood is currently covered by an RPP, the PBD would replace the RPP (or applicable portion thereof).


• Employ price-based regulation and associated elements. Variable pricing is necessary to effectively manage on-street parking in high-demand neighborhoods. New technology would be deployed to allow for variable pricing, user information, and enhanced enforcement. The hours during which parking is priced would be evaluated and modified as necessary. Conventional strategies, such as provision of loading zones, would be reevaluated and adjusted appropriately.


• Expand metering to areas with peak parking demands in excess of 85%. All blocks with practical capacity issues warrant price-based management. Expansion of metering into areas traditionally designated as “residential” could potentially be paired with an exemption for preferential permit holders (priced at higher than current rates, as discussed above) at all or some times of day.


• Provide parking privileges to preferential permit holders at an appropriate price point. Residents of the neighborhood would be permitted to purchase monthly permits for on-street parking on residential streets in the neighborhood. Permits should be priced at a high enough level to appropriately value on-street space and reduce demand for on-street parking (by encouraging offstreet parking, reduced vehicle ownership, etc.).


Invest a portion of net new revenues within the neighborhood and involve the community in prioritizing expenditures. This is the central element of PBDs. By pairing the PBD concept with price-based regulation there is even greater opportunity for neighborhoods to reap the benefits of pricing—through improved parking reductions and a reduction in traffic volumes, as well as through funding available to invest in local transportation projects.


• Recognize the limits of fully addressing peak demand in residential areas. In many neighborhoods, demand for overnight on-street parking is especially high. Overnight parking demand is likely to be managed to some extent by higher preferential permit fees, but even a price-based PBD program must recognize the limits of using price during very late hours when enforcement is more of a challenge. It is important to note that on-street occupancies in excess of 85 percent may be more tolerable during the late-night periods, when traffic volumes are light, and businesses and other activities are less dependent on prioritizing short-term parking and ensuring sufficient availability.


These strategies represent a significant change for any neighborhood. As such, neighborhoods should be involved in choosing the amount and type of price-based regulation and supporting strategies that are desired in a given area. Because more aggressive strategies will provide more revenue, higher levels of benefit should returned to those neighborhoods that are most willing to proactively manage on-street parking through price-based regulation and restructured residential permit parking.



Too Much Parking? UConn Studies Local Rules

As retailers prepare for the post-Thanksgiving shopping rush, researchers at the University of Connecticut have released a new study of six New England sites showing local rules governing the number of parking spaces required for buildings in Connecticut create too many spaces – with many remaining unused even during the holidays – sapping the vibrancy of urban areas and wasting valuable space.


The two-year study examined parking in six different sites throughout New England. Three were traditional downtown areas: West Hartford Center; Northampton, MA and Brattleboro, VT, while the three other sites have more conventional layouts: Somerset Square in Glastonbury; Glastonbury Center and Avon Center. Of the sites studied, researchers found that the average local requirement for parking spaces – about 5.5 spaces per 1000 sq. ft. of floor area – is more than 2.5 times the amount of parking that is actually used – even during peak shopping times. It found that, on average, the peak parking use - generally during the holiday shopping period - in the Glastonbury and Avon sites was about 2.3 spaces per 1000 sq. ft. of building square footage. The study also shows that the downtown sites – West Hartford Center, Northampton and Brattleboro use much less parking and use the parking more efficiently than did the conventional developments.


“This is indicative of the overly cautious approach that Connecticut cities have adopted in providing for parking,” said Norman Garrick, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering affiliated with UConn’s Connecticut Transportation Institute (CTI) and the study’s lead researcher. “Connecticut towns are demanding far too much parking, thus increasing development costs, wasting land, deadening our urban centers, discouraging walking and riding, and adding to the runoff into our streams and rivers.”


 “This lower demand for parking in downtown areas is noteworthy when one considers the fact that the West Hartford, Northampton and Brattleboro sites were much more vibrant in terms of the number of people actually on site. The main factor accounting for this difference was the large number of people that access the mixed-use study sites by foot, bicycle, and public transit,” said Garrick.


In terms of efficiency of use, less than 50% of the parking spaces at the conventional sites were filled during the peak shopping period, versus 80% occupancy at the downtown study sites. This means the amount of parking provided at the conventional Glastonbury and Avon sites was more than twice that required even during the peak shopping period. “This is a tremendous waste of land and is also environmentally unsound, as it means that a significant amount of unnecessary impervious surface is to be found at these developments,” said Garrick. “This amount of unused parking also serves to dampen the vibrancy of urban centers – it is essentially a double whammy, since parking itself is a negative in terms of attracting human activity and, at the same time, parking takes up land that could be put to more productive use.”


Garrick outlined several suggestions that could improve parking situations in cities and towns:


Reduce Minimum Parking Requirements: Most towns in the state have very conservative minimum parking requirements. The towns in our study mandate 2.5 times the amount of parking than is actually used during peak shopping time. This suggests that most towns could significantly reduce the minimum parking requirements without any noticeable adverse effect. Most developments could get by with less than 3 spaces per square foot of building, depending on the level of activity expected. Even at this lower level, peak occupancy would still be only about 80 %.


Encourage Connected, Mixed-Use Development: Our study suggests that mixed-use centers use fewer parking spaces and use the parking provided much more efficiently. We stress the point that these mixed-use places must be connected by walkable streets to residential areas in order to accrue the full advantage in terms of reducing parking demand. In Connecticut, we are beginning to see the development of ‘life style’ centers, such as Evergreen Walk in South Windsor, which are ostensibly mixed-use centers. The problem is that these centers are still isolated from the rest of the community and cannot be accessed without a car. Places like Evergreen Walk are unlikely to see reduced parking demand, but will use the parking provided more efficiently because of the mix of businesses sharing the same lot.


Re-instigate On-street Parking: Our study showed that on-street parking was the most valued by customers and often the most convenient.   In addition, on-street parking cuts down on the size of the off-street lot that is needed, thus reducing development cost and the amount of impervious surface. However, in the interest of efficient traffic flow, many towns have eliminated on-street parking and do not provide on-street parking in new development. On-street parking brings other benefits in that it serves a traffic calming function, making a town center feel safer to pedestrians and more like a real center to drivers and pedestrians alike. On-street parking clearly delineates the street as a place rather than just a conduit for traffic.


Consider Shared Municipal Lots:   Our study suggests that effectively ran municipal parking systems provide many advantages in a commercial center.   Lots shared between different types of businesses are used much more efficiently and do not have as many hours where they sit empty. In addition, consolidated municipal parking promotes a ‘park once’ mindset, which benefits all the businesses in a center. Finally, the parking revenue from municipal parking systems can be used to landscape, beautify and maintain the streets and other public areas of the center. The issue of charging for parking is a contentious one, but a number of studies suggest that customers are not resistant to paying a reasonable rate for parking.



“Few cities and towns in Connecticut have a comprehensive plan for the provision of parking in their commercial centers,” said Garrick. “However, we believe many town centers in Connecticut could benefit immeasurably from having a considered and coordinated approach to managing parking demand. The current system of oversupplying parking is wasteful of land and money, is environmentally unsound, and dampens the economic and social vitality of commercial centers.   The good news is that our study shows that relatively small changes, such as improving pedestrian connections, can go a long way in reducing the amount of resources that are devoted to parking and in creating more vibrant centers in our cities and towns.”



Parking Management for More Affordable Housing (HUD, 2008)

Some communities are reducing minimum off-street parking requirements as an incentive to promote the development of affordable housing. Studies show a strong correlation between household income and vehicle ownership. Since low- and middle-income residents may own fewer or no vehicles, reducing parking requirements for affordable housing developments will decrease the cost of housing and make additional space available to increase the number of units.

Strategies for parking management being adopted by some cities include the elimination or reduction of minimum parking requirements based on density, car ownership rates, and availability of public transit; adoption of maximum parking requirements; allowing shared parking; and unbundling the cost of parking from the price of housing.


San Francisco, California

San Francisco is a transit-friendly city that has retained its historic character and the scale of its walkable neighborhoods. According to the 2000 Census, 30 percent of all households in San Francisco do not own a car and more than 50 percent of households living within transit-rich areas are car-free. A 1997 University of California, Berkeley study found that single-family housing without off-street parking sold for an average of $46,391 less than housing with off-street parking — affordable to 24 percent more area households.


San Francisco adopted legislation revising its parking requirements in an effort to reduce traffic congestion and increase affordable housing in its Downtown Commercial (C-3) zoning districts. Revisions eliminated minimum parking requirements for downtown housing, and established by-right maximum parking of one space for every four units. Maximum parking limits restrict the number of spaces that can be provided by a developer. Other strategies include car-sharing programs and requiring developers to unbundle the cost of parking from the price of housing. Reduced parking requirements for Rich Sorro Commons, a mixed-use project in the city with 100 affordable units for low-income families, resulted in additional space for a childcare center and retail stores, generating about $132,000 in additional revenue. The childcare center is especially beneficial to low-income families, and the additional revenue makes housing units more affordable.


Seattle, WA

Half the households in Press Apartments on Capitol Hill’s Pine Street in Seattle, Washington do not own cars, leaving 60 percent of parking spots that were provided to meet the city’s minimum parking requirements sitting empty. In 2006, Seattle reduced parking required in mixed-use neighborhoods, and eliminated minimum parking requirements in downtown areas to increase housing opportunities and encourage pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods. Minimum parking required for affordable housing was reduced to 0.33 – 1.0 space per unit, depending on the location and size of the unit. In addition to adopting maximum parking requirements for downtown office spaces, the city allows reduced parking for elderly and disabled housing, and for multifamily developments with car-sharing programs.


Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon has implemented various parking management strategies designed to increase housing density, promote transit-oriented neighborhoods, and support existing and new economic development. Portland eliminated minimum parking requirements in the central city district and for sites located within 500 feet of a high-capacity transit station. The city’s zoning ordinance specifies maximum parking requirements for areas outside the central city district, which vary depending on the use and the distance from a light rail station. Other parking measures include shared parking, and reduction from minimum requirements for car sharing, transit access, and availability of bicycle parking. Two mixed-use projects located outside Portland’s central city, Buckman Heights and Buckman Terrace, were able to keep development costs low and increase the number of affordable housing units by utilizing the city’s reduced parking requirements.



Shopping Center Parking Analysis

The Seacrest shopping center in Marina, California currently has 525 total parking stalls, representing about 6 spaces per 1,000 square feet of commercial space, and occupying approximately 3.6 acres. Current occupancy does not exceed 35% during regular peak periods. Achieving an 85% peak occupancy rate, which is considered optimal, only requires 2-3 per 1,000 sq. ft. In this situation, approximately 2 acres of currently unused stalls can be converted to alternative uses and still provide a high level of parking service.



Lloyd District, Portland (Wilbur Smith Associates, et al, 2006)

The Lloyd District is a TOD in Portland, Oregon. Before it developed into a transit district the area’s transit commute mode split was 10%, but this increased to 21% by 1997 and 41% at the end of 2005. To achieve this local planners worked with local government and the transit provider to develop an aggressive transit improvement and incentive program. This included:

·         Elimination of free commuter parking.

·         Development of aggressive maximum parking ratios.

·         Agreement to purchase annual employee transit passes through the establishment of the Lloyd District PASSport Program.

·         Restrictions on surface parking lot development.

·         Design guidelines and restrictions on parking near the MAX light rail system.

·         New direct route transit.

·         Revenue sharing of meters and transit pass sales.


For businesses, the result was over 1.3 million square feet of new public/private development, a decrease in commercial office occupancy rate from 12% (2001) to 3% (2005), a decrease in parking from 3.5 spaces per 1,000 square feet to 1.95, and the removal of 1,433 commute vehicles with an estimated savings of over $35 million in parking development costs (estimated based upon a construction cost of $25,000 per space in the Lloyd District).



GreenTRIP (

GreenTRIP is a Traffic Reduction + Innovative Parking certification program for new residential and mixed use developments. It rewards projects that reduce traffic and greenhouse gas emissions. GreenTRIP expands the definition of green building to include robust transportation standards for how people get to and from green buildings. Each certified project receives a Project Evaluation Report which describes the project location, details and inventories how the project meets GreenTRIP standards. This typically includes features such as an Accessible and multi-modal location (near shops and other services, good neighborhood walkability, near public transit), unbundled parking (parking spaces rented separately from building space), Carshare services, discounted Public Transit passes, and Affordable housing.


The GreenTRIP program provides the following support:


·         Tailored Traffic Reduction Strategies – Experts work with developers, designers and operators to identify the most appropriate transportation and parking management strategies in a particular situation.


·         Public Hearing Testimony - GreenTRIP staff will explain the traffic and greenhouse gas reducing benefits achieved by GreenTRIP Certified projects to decision-makers and the public.


·         Market Differentiation - Use of the GreenTRIP name and logo in promotional materials, and a plaque to mount on the project when built.


As of March 2010 the following projects were certified:

The Crossings (

Parker Place (

Station Park Green (

The Ohlone (



Smart Parking Signs

New “smart parking” signs were installed December 2004 on the east side of the Caldecott Tunnel along Highway 24, alerting those headed toward the clogged Bay Bridge to the number of parking spaces available at BART's Rockridge station. It’s the first time in the nation a "smart parking" program has been implemented to lure people onto transit, said Caltrans spokeswoman Tamie McGowen. It's part of a pilot program that uses real-time technology to lure people off the freeway and onto mass transit - either for last-minute shopping trips or workday commutes. "It's for people who would assume the station is full - but they'll see there is an opening and maybe they'll come in and try BART," said Jim Allison, spokesman for the transit system.


At the station, where parking typically is full by 7:30 a.m. or earlier, underground sensors are used in a reserved lot to relay information to freeway signs - much like parking garage signs tell drivers whether a floor is full. Commuters can call or use the Internet before leaving home to reserve on of the 50 parking spaces in the free test lot. Or, if traffic is particularly boggy en route to the Bay Bridge, a driver can watch the real-time message system to see if slots are available and call to claim one. After registering for the system, reservations can be made in advance three times during a two-week period.



Moderating Park and Ride Expansion and Promoting Access by More Sustainable Modes (Go Transit 2013)

GO Transit operates regional rail and bus services across the Toronto region that carry close to 250,000 riders daily. Approximately 60% of rail customers access their GO station by automobile, and GO operates over 65,000 parking spaces at 55 rail stations, making it one of the largest parking operators in North America. At over half of these stations, demand exceeds parking supply. The need to ensure good station access is projected to increase as more people move to the region and GO adds new rail service.


The GO Transit Rail Parking & Station Access Plan was completed in June 2013 to determine the most effective options to support ridership growth and manage the demand for new parking in the short-, medium-, and long-term, as part of a multi-modal approach to station access. The Plan is based on the overall policy direction of moderating parking expansion compared with historic trends, with the aim of taking auto drive mode share from 60% to 50% by 2031. The primary components of the Plan include a Parking & Station Access Policy Statement, a Decision Making Framework, Station Profiles and a set of prioritized recommendations for implementing the policy at a corridor and station level.  


GreenTRIP Parking Database (

The GreenTRIP Parking Database measures the number of parking spaces per unit, their occupancy rates, and the cost of that unused spaces for various residential buildings in the San Francisco Bay area. The results indicate that there is a significant amount of unused, costly parking supply which residents must pay for but do not actually want. This reduces housing affordability. This information can help developers, planners and policy makers better determine the number of parking spaces that are actually required in a particular type of development, and therefore avoid unnecessary costs.


“Parklets” Pavement to Parks (

The City of San Francisco is converting on-street parking and unused bits of streetspace into “parklets,” small plazas and seating areas, by painting or treating the asphalt, placing protective barriers along the periphery, and installing moveable tables and chairs.



Market Commons Unbundled Parking (Wilbur Smith Associates, et al, 2006)

Residents in 300 apartment units at Market Common in Arlington Virginia have no assigned parking – spaces are “unbundled” from rent. Residents pay $25 per month for one space and $75 to $100 for a second (in contrast, owners of 87 townhouses at Market Common get two parking stalls as part of purchase, no choice). They use a parking structure that is shared with retail and restaurant patrons. Retail patrons and tenants share about 1,100 spaces in a parking structure, though there also is some on street parking for shoppers (36 spaces are referenced in one web page summary of the project).


Residents pay building management (not the parking operator) for swipe cards used at structure gates. Shoppers buy short term permits to access the garage ($1-4/hr depending on length of stay, with merchant validation allowed). Because retail is at ground floor and resident units at upper floors (10 story building), residents generally park on the upper levels where spaces are generally available. Elevators in the parking structure leading to residential areas are opened only by tenant pass key to maintain security.



Welcoming Downtown Shoppers

Consider the newspaper column below, which describes typical parking problems facing downtown shoppers. This could be interpreted as a call for increased parking supply, but the writer is not really unhappy about paying for parking itself, her main frustration is with her payment options. She wants convenience and predictability: an on-street parking space, flexible time limits, and meters that are not limited to specific coins.


“Downtown Shoppers Should Feel Welcomed, Not Shunned”

By Jody Paterson, Times Colonist, 18 March 2001


Maybe Victoria Councillors need to take a new route when they’re making their sojourns to city hall from the ‘burbs. Then they’d see the empty storefronts.


The emptiness has spread to lower Government Street now, and continues along Douglas Street and parts of Yates. More and more storefronts are being converted into offices, their use as retail space no longer viable.


There are plenty of theories on what makes a downtown thrive, but the only thing that ultimately matters is whether people shop there. Crime, vandalism, the constant turnover of tenants – all of the problems diminish when there are lots of shoppers.


Making that happen is tricky business, especially in these mall-fixated times. The product has to be desirable and the service good. The prices have to be reasonable. The atmosphere has to be welcoming.


And of course, customers need to be able to get to the store, which in some cases means they’ll choose to drive their cars.


I am one such person. I’ll take downtown any time over any mall. I like breathing real air, browsing through real stuff, deciding how I’ll allot my panhandler dollars for that day. I appreciate the spirit of small businesses.


I have gradually accepted since moving here 11 years ago that the price for my love of the downtown is parking tickets. Sometimes it’s because I have rushed out of the house without the mandatory loonie and quarter. More often it’s because I continue shopping past the single hour that the downtown meters allow.


I could park in a parkade. City staff note helpfully in the news story this week detailing plans to double parking fines to $15 and add Sunday ticketing that there are 1,997 such spaces downtown and I know my business is welcome at any of them.


But I hate the parkades. They’re creepy, and slow to make your way in and out of. They look like a place where your car might get broken into. The elevators are creaky. The stairways smell of urine. And winding your way up and up and up through the many levels of a parking is just nothing like pulling up to a parking space in the wide open not too far from the place you’re trying to get to.


I could take the bus. I have a co-worker in the newsroom who is probably going to stalk into my office first thing Monday morning and lecture me about how I could take the bus. And I’ve done it, and ridden my bike downtown too. Bit it limits my shopping and means that whatever I buy, I carry around for the entire excursion.


I could park in one of those downtown parking lots. And if I’d had enough foresight to bring an array of quarters and loonies in the price arrangement suitable to the ticket machine in that particular lot, I do. Parking fines are already much higher in those lots, though, and the grace time a mere three days.


And so I most often park at meters and get tickets, which I dutifully pay. I even pay for parking too far out from the curb. If the city hadn’t been in a festive mood for much of the pre-Christmas period and handing out warnings instead of tickets on a couple days when I shopped too long, I’d have been out at least $30.


The funny thing is that I’m the kind of shopper that downtown businesses ought to love. I arrive with money and a willingness to spend. I almost always shop long than I intended to. And I roam far and wide throughout the downtown looking for interesting shopping experiences.


So how come I’m the one that council has picked to ticket more aggressively. How come they’re trying to send me to the malls to solve the problem of downtown workers hogging the meter space?


If the people who are working downtown are indeed taking up valuable parking-meter space, that’s a problem. But councillors, let me tell you, taking $15 out of us shoppers every time we have the audacity to do our business downtown is not the solution.


Take a good look at those empty storefronts and then find a way to create an annual downtown-shopper parking pass to sell me. Come up with ways to make employers deal with their meter-hogging staff. Dow something that embraces my business rather than forces it elsewhere.


When it comes to downtown survival, it doesn’t matter whether there are 1,997 parkade spots downtown, or whether the city can trot out statistics showing that less than one per cent of the cars on any given day downtown get ticketed. It doesn’t matter whether I can be dismissed as just another lazy whiner who isn’t putting enough effort into conforming my parking habits to the rules.


What matters is that when people come downtown to shop, they feel welcomed. Until city council figures out what to do about that, every parking ticket issued is just another reason to go to the mall.


Rather than simply increasing parking subsidies, the city can address these concerns by:


·         Improving the information available to motorists on parking availability and price.


·         Using pricing systems that accommodate various payment options, are not limited to one hour, do not require motorists to predict how long they will be parked, and charge for just the amount of time that a parking space is used.


·         Making the most convenient parking spaces available to customers.


·         Developing delivery services for larger packages, so customers do not need a car to shop.

·         Ensure that parking enforcement practices are perceived as predictable, fair and courteous.



Wit and Humor

“Discovery of a solution consists of looking at the same thing as everyone else and thinking something different.” – Albert Szent-Gyorgy



Related Chapters and Resources

Parking Evaluation discusses factors to consider to determine which combination of solutions is best in a particular situation. These solutions represent Parking Management, and many involve Parking Pricing. Some solutions require special equipment or services: see, or for product vendors. Some require planning, administration and coordination services that can be provided by a Transportation Management Program (for a single organization), or a Transportation Management Association (for a group of organizations). Least Cost Planning describes evaluation methods that consider demand management solutions equally with capacity expansion, and Context Sensitive Design allows greater flexibility in facility design.



References And Resources For More Information


Amy H. Auchincloss, Rachel Weinberger, Semra Aytur, Alexa Namba and Andrew Ricchezza (2014), “Public Parking Fees And Fines: A Survey Of US Cities,” Public Works Management & Policy, http://pwm.Sagepub.Com/content/early/2014/02/19/1087724x13514380.


Paul Barter (2010), Parking Policy in Asian Cities, Asian Development Bank (; at Also see


Paul Barter (2011), Promising Parking Policies Worldwide: Lessons for India? presented at the International Conference on Parking Reforms for a Livable City, 17 August 2011, New Delhi  (


Paul A. Barter (2014), “A Parking Policy Typology For Clearer Thinking On Parking Reform,” International Journal of Urban Sciences (, at


Derek Booth and Jennifer Leavitt (1999), “Field Evaluation of Permeable Pavement Systems for Improved Stormwater Management,” Journal of the American Planning Association, Vol. 65, No. 3, Summer, pp. 314-325; at


Center for Watershed Protection ( provides analysis and resources for minimizing hydrologic impacts and pollution.


Cities21 (2010), $2 Daily Workplace Parking Charge + $4 Cashout: Cut U.S. Commute VMT/GHG 23%, Cities21 (; at


CNT (2006), Paved Over: Surface Parking Lots or Opportunities for Tax-Generating, Sustainable Development?, Center for Neighborhood Technology (; at


CNU (2008), Parking Requirements and Affordable Housing, Congress for the New Urbanism (; at


CORDIS (2002), Parking Policy Measures and the Effects on Mobility and the Economy, Cost-Transport, CORDIS ( This is a comprehensive research program in several European countries to investigate parking management strategies and develop standard parking policies.


Stuart Donovan (2011), Convenient, Affordable Parking When And Where You Need It: The Benefits Of Accurate Pricing and Smart Technologies, Frontier Centre For Public Policy (;


DTF (2010), Review of the Effectiveness of the Congestion Levy, Victoria Department of Treasury and Finance (; at$File/CongestionLevy2010.pdf


John D. Edwards (2002), “Changing On-Street Parallel Parking to Angle Parking,” ITE Journal, Vol. 72, No. 2, February 2002, pp. 28-33.


Joshua Engel-Yan and Dylan Passmore (2010), “Assessing Alternative Approaches to Setting Parking Requirements,” ITE Journal (, Vo. 80, No. 12, December, 30-25.


FHWA (2007), Advanced Parking Management Systems: A Cross-Cutting Study, Report FHWA-JPO-07-011, Intelligent Transportation Systems (, FHWA, USDOT; at


FHWA (2012), Contemporary Approaches to Parking Pricing: A Primer, Office of Operations (, U.S. Federal Highway Administration; at


Go Transit (2013), GO Transit Rail Parking and Station Access Plan, MetroLinx (; at


GreenTRIP ( is a certification program for new residential and mixed use developments that implement transportation and parking management strategies, similar to LEED building certification.


GreenTRIP Parking Database ( measures the number of parking spaces per unit, their occupancy rates, and the cost of that unused spaces for various residential buildings in the San Francisco Bay area.


Zhan Guo, et al. (2012), Amenity or Necessity? Street Standards as Parking Policy, Mineta Transportation Institute (; at .


Patrick Hare (1995), Clunker Mortgages and Transportation Redlining, Hare Planning, posted at


HUD (2008), “Parking Regulations and Housing Affordability,” Regulatory Barriers Clearinghouse, Volume 7, Issue 2, US Department of Housing and Urban Development,  (; at


Angus Hulme-Moir (2010), Making Way for the Car: Minimum Parking Requirements and Porirua City Centre, Thesis, School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington (


International Conference on Parking Reforms for a Livable City, Centre for Science and Environment (, 17 August 2011, New Delhi; at Presentations:

·         Anumita Roy Chowdhury: Parking policy: Getting the principles right

·         Paul Barter: Promising Parking Policies Worldwide: Lessons for India?

·         Michael Kodransky: Europe’s Parking U-Turn 

·         Dr. Errampalli Madhu: Parking Pricing as TDM Tool 

·         Sanjiv N. Sahai: Parking Reforms for a Liveable City

·         Piyush Kansal: Parking Demand Management Study for Central Delhi

·         Abhijit Lokre: Parking Reforms for a Liveable City

·         Our Experiments with Parking

·         Parking Reforms for Liveable City : Hyderaba



International Parking Institute ( provides information and other resources for Parking Management professionals.


Elizabeth E. Isler, Lester A. Hoel, Michael D. Fontaine (2005), Innovative Parking Management Strategies For Universities: Accommodating Multiple Objectives In A Constrained Environment, Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting (


ITDP (2015), Parking Guidebook for Beijing, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (; at


ITE (1995), Shared Parking Planning Guidelines, Institute of Transportation Engineers (


Michael Kodransky and Gabrielle Hermann (2011), Europe’s Parking U-Turn: From Accommodation to Regulation, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (; at


Douglas Kolozsvari and Donald Shoup (2003), “Turning Small Change Into Big Changes,” ACCESS 23, University of California Transportation Center (, Fall 2003, pp. 2-7;


J. Richard Kuzmyak, Rachel Weinberger, Richard H. Pratt and Herbert S. Levinson (2003), Parking Management and Supply, Chapter 18, Report 95, Transit Cooperative Research Program; Transportation Research Board (


Michael Lewyn (2010), What Would Coase Do? (About Parking Regulation), Working Paper Series, SSRN; at


Todd Litman (1999), Parking Requirement Impacts on Housing Affordability, VTPI (


Todd Litman (2006), Parking Taxes: Evaluating Options and Impacts, VTPI (; at


Todd Litman (2006), Parking Management Best Practices, Planners Press (;


Todd Litman (2006), Parking Management: Strategies, Evaluation and Planning, Victoria Transport Policy Institute (; at


Todd Litman (2006), Parking Management: Innovative Solutions To Vehicle Parking Problems, Planetzen (


Todd Litman (2006), Parking Management: Strategies, Evaluation and Planning, Victoria Transport Policy Institute (; at


Todd Litman (2007), Pavement Busters Guide, VTPI (; at


Todd Litman (2007), Parking Management: Comprehensive Implementation Guide, VTPI (; at


Todd Litman (2008), Recommendations for Improving LEED Transportation and Parking Credits, VTPI (; at


Todd Litman (2009), “Parking Costs,” Transportation Cost and Benefit Analysis: Techniques, Estimates and Implications, Victoria Transport Policy Institute (; at


Todd Litman (2009), “Parking Costs,” Transportation Cost and Benefit Analysis: Techniques, Estimates and Implications, Victoria Transport Policy Institute (; at


Todd Litman (2010), Parking Pricing Implementation Guidelines: How More Efficient Pricing Can Help Solve Parking Problems, Increase Revenue, And Achieve Other Planning Objectives, Victoria Transport Policy Institute (; at


Todd Litman (2011), “Why and How to Reduce the Amount of Land Paved for Roads and Parking Facilities,” Environmental Practice, Vol. 13, No. 1, March, pp. 38-46;


Todd Litman, Daniel Carlson, Aaron Blumenthal and John Lee (2010), Evaluating Seattle Parking Tax Options, Victoria Transport Policy Institute (, and the Washington State Transportation Center (; at


Michael Manfille and Donald Shoup (2004), “People, Parking, and Cities,” Access 25, (, Fall 2004, pp. 2-8.


Wesley E. Marshall and Norman W. Garrick (2006), “Parking at Mixed-Use Centers in Small Cities,” Transportation Research Record 1997, TRB (, pp. 164-171; at


Metro Vancouver (2012), Metro Vancouver  Apartment Parking Study; Revised Technical Report, Metropolitan Planning, Environment, and Parks (; included in 7 Sept. 2012 Regional Planning And Agriculture Committee Agenda at Also see, “Apartment parking spots lift development costs in Vancouver,” Georgia Strait,


Adam Millard-Ball (2002), “Putting On Their Parking Caps,” Planning (, April, pp. 16-21.


Adam Millard-Ball, Patrick Siegman, and Jeffrey Tumlin (2004), “Solving Campus Parking Shortages: New Solutions for an Old Problem,” Planning for Higher Education, Society of College and University Planning (, Vol. 33, No. 1, pp. 30-43.


Eric Vallabh Minikel (2010), Evaluating Whether Curb Parking Is The Highest And Best Use Of Land In An Urban Commercial District: A Case Study of Harvard Square, Master in City Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (; at


MTC (2007), Developing Parking Policies to Support Smart Growth in Local Jurisdictions: Best Practices, Metropolitan Transportation Commission (; at


Vinit Mukhija and Donald Shoup (2006), “Quantity Versus Quality in Off-Street Parking Requirements,” Journal of the American Planning Association (, Vol. 72, No. 3, Summer 2006, pp. 296-308; at


NALGEP (2005), Clean Communities on the Move: A Partnership-Driven Approach to Clean Air and Smart Transportation, National Association of Local Government Environmental Professionals (


National Parking Institute ( is an organization for parking professionals.


Jeremy Nelson and Jason Schrieber (2012), “Smart Parking Revisited: Lessons from the Pioneers,” Planning (, May 2012.


Nelson/Nygaard (2009), Getting More with Less: Managing Residential Parking in Urban Developments with Carsharing and Unbundling, City CarShare (, funded by the Federal Highway Administration; at


NEMO Project ( addresses impervious surface impacts.


NYDOT (2009), PARK Smart Greenwich Village Pilot Program – Results, New York City Department of Transportation, ParkSmart Program (; at


Hunter Oatman-Stanford (2013), Please Feed The Meters: The Next Parking Revolution, Collectors Weekly; at


Oregon Downtown Development Association (2001), Parking Management Made Easy: A Guide to Taming the Downtown Parking Beast, Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development; at


Parking Reform Website ( promotes various reforms, particularly parking pricing with revenues returned to local communities and businesses.


PAS (2009), Parking Solutions: Essential Info Packet, Planning Advisory Service, American Planning Association ( at These packets consist of compilation of related documents that provide practical information on various parking management strategies, suitable for use by planners and developers. These include:

·         Parking Solutions (130 pages) includes six documents that describe modern approaches to parking management.

·         Shared Parking (133 pages) includes more than thirty documents concerning shared parking, parking in-lieu fees, parking requirement reductions and exemptions, and downtown district special parking requirements.

·         Green Parking Lot Design (66 pages) includes three documents that describe ways to improve parking lot environmental performance including landscaping, stormwater management and reduced heat island effects.

·         Permeable Pavement and Bicycle Parking (38 pages) includes five documents concerning the use of permeable parking lot pavement materials and five documents concerning bicycle parking requirements and design.



Reinventing Parking Blog ( by Professor Paul Barter is intended to help inform parking policy decisions around the world.


Gabriel Roth (1965) Paying for Parking, Hobart Paper 33 (London); at


Gary Roth (2004), An Investigation into Rational Pricing for Curbside Parking: What Will Be The Effects Of Higher Curbside Parking Prices In Manhattan? Masters Thesis, Columbia University (; at


Ryan Russo (2001), Planning for Residential Parking: A Guide For Housing Developers and Planners, Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California ( and the Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy (; at


San Francisco (2009), On-Street Parking Management and Pricing Study, San Francisco County Transportation Authority (; at


Andrés Sañudo, Xavier Treviño, Jimena Veloz and Salvador Medina (2013), "Impacts of the ecoParq program on Polanco," Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (; at


Schaller Consulting (2006), Curbing Cars: Shopping, Parking and Pedestrian Space in SoHo, Transportation Alternatives (; at


SF (2008), Parking Pilot Projects: Urban Partnership Program, Municipal Transportation Agency, San Francisco (; at


Donald Shoup (1995), “An Opportunity to Reduce Minimum Parking Requirements,” Journal of the American Planning Association, Vol. 61, No. 1, Winter, pp. 14-28.


Donald Shoup (1999), “The Trouble With Minimum Parking Requirements,” Transportation Research A, Vol. 33, No. 7/8, Sept./Nov., pp. 549-574; at


Donald Shoup (2005), The High Cost of Free Parking, Planners Press ( This is a comprehensive and entertaining book of the causes, costs and problems created by free parking, and how to correct these distortions. Podcast at


Donald Shoup (2005), Parking Cash Out, Report 532, Planning Advisory Service (, American Planning Association.


Donald Shoup (2005), “Parking On A Smart Campus,” in California Policy Options 2005, UCLA School of Public Affairs (


Donald Shoup (2002), Curb Parking: An Ideal Source of Public Revenue, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy (, Presented at “Analysis of Land Markets and the Impact of Land Market Regulation” (Code CP02A01).


Donald Shoup (2005), Parking Cash Out, Report No. 532, APA Planning Advisory Service, Planners Press (


Donald Shoup (2006), The Price of Parking On Great Streets, Planetizen (


Donald Shoup (2008), The Politics and Economics of Parking On Campus, University of California Los Angeles (


Patrick Siegman (2008), Less Traffic, Better Places: A Step-by-Step Guide to Reforming Parking Requirements, San Diego Section of the Amercian Planning Association (; at


Mott Smith (2006), Onsite Parking: The Scourge of America's Commercial Districts, Planetizen (


Mary Catherine Snyder, Meghan Shepard and SunHee Helm (2006), Top Five Lessons from the Paid Parking Trenches of Seattle: Results from Twenty Recent Neighborhood Parking Studies, ITE Annual Meeting (


Lawrence Solomon (1995), “On the Street Where You Park: Privatizing Residential Street Parking Will Keep the Lilacs Blooming, the Larks Singing and the Pavement to a Minimum,” The Next City, Vol. 1, No. 2 (, Winter 1995, pp. 58-61.


Ruth Steiner, et al. (2012), Impact of Parking Supply and Demand Management on Central Business District (CBD) Traffic Congestion, Transit Performance and Sustainable Land Use, Florida Department of Transportation Research Center (; at


SUTP (2010), Parking Management: A Contribution Towards Livable Cities, Sustainable Transport: A Sourcebook for Policy-Makers in Developing Countries (; at


ULI (2000), The Dimensions of Parking, Urban Land Institute ( and the National Parking Association.


USEPA (2006), Parking Spaces / Community Places: Finding the Balance Through Smart Growth Solutions, Development, Community, and Environment Division (DCED); U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (


UTTIPEC (2010), Parking Policy as a Travel Demand Management Strategy, Delhi Development Authority (; at


Rachel Weinberger, John Kaehny and Matthew Rufo (2009), U.S. Parking Policies: An Overview of Management Strategies, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (


Wilbur Smith Associates, Michael R. Kodama Planning, Richard Willson, KT Analytics and Rick Williams Consulting (2006), Developing Parking Policies to Support Smart Growth in Local Jurisdictions: Best Practices, Draft Report, Metropolitan Transportation Commission (; at

This Encyclopedia is produced by the Victoria Transport Policy Institute to help improve understanding of Transportation Demand Management. It is an ongoing project. Please send us your comments and suggestions for improvement.




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