March 16, 2011

Putting Parking in Its Place

Want less traffic? More walkable streets? Cleaner air?  Make it tougher or more expensive to find a parking spot. Donald Shoup, the parking “rockstar” has been encouraging cities to use pricing as a way to manage parking (and driving) demand for over 40 years now in the United States, and cities around the world are starting to wake up and take notice. But there are other tools that can be used to put parking in its place.

In addition to reducing traffic congestion, appropriate parking management can save residents and businesses time and money, and lead to more attractive and livable communities. Considering the fact that downtown parking (both on- and off-street) occupies some of the world’s most valuable real estate, it’s worth considering how we allocate space for it, and how we choose to price it.

ITDP has recently released two reports on this topic, documenting best practices in the United States and Europe respectively. Next year we will release a third looking at best practices around the globe. Over the next few weeks we’ll be running a series of posts that will highlight best practices and some of the biggest challenges to parking management as observed by our staff and consultants.

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