More studies over the years have shown us that the price and availability of parking has a strong influence on people’s travel choices. A ten-year-old study from New York, for instance, called attention to the influence of parking availability on people’s decision to drive to work. Several years later, I led a study connecting long-term parking growth to citywide increases in car commuting. Now a new study by a cohort of researchers across North America, including myself, makes that connection even clearer by drawing a direct line from residential parking ratios to household VMT.
A new playbook is emerging for managing local travel demand
Over time, transportation demand management has shifted from mainly reducing single occupancy commute trips to something more encompassing, a larger shift toward active and shared transportation for all types of trips made by all types of people.
“Spillover” effects reinforce VMT effects from transit and parking subsidies
We know that employer-provided free parking tends to increase auto-commute trips and that employer-provided transit passes tend to reduce auto-commute trips. Research is less clear about the effect on vehicle-miles traveled, however, in part because we don’t know whether or how such employment practices might affect non-work travel. A new paper using travel survey data from the Seattle area, sheds new light on the VMT question.
Effective prioritization of curbside usage: data gaps and infrastructure limitations
Owing to the rising popularity of ecommerce, expedited deliveries, ride-hailing services, and micromobility options, curb space is in demand now more than ever. Because curbside is a public property, the burden of efficiently allocating this commodity comes down to city officials. However, despite being valuable real estate, a recent study demonstrates how city staff presently do not have the data or tools to efficiently prioritize the distribution of curb space, let alone profit from it.
Commuters won’t drive far to access park-and-ride
People using park-and-ride stations don’t seem to mind a longer overall commute, according to new research, as long as the station is close to home. In other words, it’s probably better to think of park-and-ride lots more like local feeders than as regional access points.
Cars park improperly substantially more than scooters or bikes
Micromobility devices, such as scooters and bicycles are sometimes portrayed as scattered about in the public right- of-way, impeding everyone. Looking at the entire right-of-way, how much are bicycles and scooters actually culpable for obstruction? A new paper examines improperly parked scooters, bicycles, and motor vehicles, finding that the biggest offenders are actually motor vehicle drivers.
Webinar recap: Parking reform for 21st century communities
Parking reform is a growing priority for cities and towns across the U.S. This has important implications for transportation professionals, outlined in a recent webinar from SSTI, the Form-Based Code Institute, and Smart Growth America.
Shared parking keeps customers happy
Parking issues have a measurable effect on businesses’ reputations, according to a recent study, but there are important exceptions. Restaurants, bars, and nightclubs aren’t as vulnerable to parking complaints, for instance, and the effects don’t seem to hold when parking is shared among businesses.
Exploring the relationship between transit supply and parking demand
In a recent study, researchers from Australia look closely at the relationship between parking demand and proximity and quality of service supply of public transit. When other socioeconomic factors were considered, the quality of transit service became much more important than proximity alone in determining parking demand. This will be helpful in the ongoing discussion about where and how to reduce or eliminate required parking as part of development.
As car commuting demand changes, highways and parking lots give way to development
Urban highways and plentiful surface parking lots, once considered essential, have outlived their promise in many large U.S. cities. Observers see growing interest in dense urban living, with some mobile segments of the population opting out of car-dependent suburbs. Bold cities have been redeveloping the areas opened up by highway removal, and developers are poised to profit from the development of surface parking lots within revitalizing urban cores.