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Parking Management Strategy Report Summary

Update: In April 2012, CMAP released a report called, "Parking Strategies to Support Livable Communities."

Implementation of parking management strategies can have a significant impact on the livability and design of our region's communities. Parking can also have impacts on traffic congestion, environmental health, and financial health of the region. This paper explores supply side and demand side strategies, offers an analysis of our region's parking supply, the potential impacts of parking strategies, and resources for parking management studies and plans.

This paper will cover general principles of parking management, existing conditions in the region, and potential parking management best practices covering both supply-side and demand-side solutions. Finally, the impacts of different strategies on various indicators will be evaluated. Planning for parking has traditionally focused on ensuring free and abundant parking spaces by setting minimum requirements based on peak user demand. A major shift to this approach has occurred. The complexities of parking and its effects on other factors have called into question the "free and abundant" parking policies. Specifically, concerns about air quality, traffic congestion, and financial feasibility have influenced this shift. Parking cost and convenience are important, but opinions vary as to how much should be provided, where, and who should pay for it.

A sample of findings:

  • Offering "cash-out" programs (such as $50 / month for not using a parking spot) typically reduces automobile commuting by 20% (Litman, 2006)
  • Free parking is worth more than $4 per gallon of gasoline (Shoup, 2005)
  • Simply reducing developer requirements for parking spaces will equal a significant reduction in public expenditures
  • Parking management strategies can decrease demand by about 15% in areas with low transit to 38% in areas with some transit (Transportation Authority of Marin)

If you have questions about the report, please contact Lindsay Banks: lbanks (at) cmap.illinois.gov.

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