Real parking needs revealed

Fewer vehicle trips, innovative parking strategies, and more diverse travel modes are all likely reasons why parking occupancy rates were so low at transit oriented developments (TODs)

Urban areas that are close to transit stations are more valuable because the offer accessible mobility which is considered a commodity. Transit stations or mobility hubs are places where a large amount of commuters travel to and through to reach their final destination. These places have therefore large interests for economies, residencies and public spaces.

It is common that spaces close to these transit stations end up being partly used for parking. The question is, how much? Standard engineering guidelines are designed for mostly isolated suburban land uses—not walkable, urban places served by transit. There is a need for alternative guidelines for livable, ecomobile neighborhoods.

Empty Spaces: Real parking needs at five TODs, released this month is set out to determine how much less parking is required at transit-oriented developments (TODs) and how many fewer vehicle trips are generated than standard industry estimates.

The study found that all five TODs generated fewer vehicle trips than standard guidelines estimate, and used less parking than many regulations require for similar land uses. Most of the TODs included in this study also built less parking than recommended by engineering guidelines, yet even this reduced amount of parking was not used to capacity: the ratio of demand to actual supply was between 58 and 84 percent. Fewer vehicle trips is one likely reason why parking occupancy rates were lower than expected. Another possible reason is that engineering guidelines do not fully account for other travel modes that are available and actively encouraged at TODs.

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Empty Spaces; Real parking needs at five TODs