Wiki Wednesday: Parking Policy

268083322_dde7d5af1d.jpgWhen a coalition of public interest groups including Transportation Alternatives released the "Suburbanizing the City" report last month, we learned that, following current New York City parking policies, the construction of new off-street spaces is projected to result in over a billion additional miles driven per year by 2030. Startling as it was, this statistic crystallized what many livable streets advocates already accept as conventional wisdom: more parking equals more driving.

It follows, then, that the StreetsWiki entry on parking policy would be a thorough one, covering everything from the shredding of urban fabric in the 1950s to state-of-the-art concepts like parking meter districts and variable pricing:

Ideally, rates between on-street and off-street spaces should be
similar, with the most convenient spaces priced the highest. This is
contrary to the usual practice, where parking meter rates are minimal
and spaces in parking structures are set far higher, reflecting the
cost of providing them. This results in drivers “cruising” for parking,
adding significantly to traffic and pollution.

With advocates actively urging New York City planners and transportation officials to adopt consistent, coordinated regs more suited to the urban environment — and as progressive policies are explored in other cities — expect the parking policy page to be a StreetsWiki favorite for some time to come.

To contribute to this or any other StreetsWiki entry, or to add your own, start by joining the Livable Streets Network.

Photo: christinaa/Flickr

  • Dave

    It’s simple.
    – Introduce permit parking citywide so that you can’t park on the street unless you live in the neighborhood.
    – Hike Muni-meter and meter rates to a market level.
    – Eliminate 50% on on-street parking spaces for bike lanes, delivery zones, whatever, to reduce the supply of on-street spaces.
    – Reduce parking garage taxes citywide as an incentive for local residents to park in a garage, thereby reducing cruising for parking spots.

    Fewer people driving into the city to park for free, less double-parking causing backups and more street space for all of us.

    Curbside parking should not be given away to anyone at any time. It is a very valuable commodity that has been given away for free for far too long.

  • I’ve been a little surprised at the fight against off-street residential parking in non-Manhattan complexes. It may bring it extra driving, but a lot of that driving is hard to replace with public transportation. Even for someone in Flushing or other places on the subway lines, it’s a real pain to get in between cities (or to rural areas) without a car. And these “non-commuting trips” don’t add that much compared to daily trips to work. The solution to reduce the number of driving commuters is to reduce down-town parking (like some of these articles advocate) while allowing *off-street* residential parking (hey, the tenants are paying for it).

  • Even for someone in Flushing or other places on the subway lines, it’s a real pain to get in between cities (or to rural areas) without a car.

    Please, speak for yourself. Plenty of us do it just fine. The solution to that is better intercity and rural bus and train service, not helping everyone in the city to own a car.

  • bob

    Re: “- Introduce permit parking citywide so that you can’t park on the street unless you live in the neighborhood.”

    Smacks of elitism. How are “neighborhoods” defined? Why shouldn’t a New Yorker entitled to park in her own neighborhood be allowed to park in another – say, to run an errand, go shopping, visit a friend/relative, go to the doctor, etc? What about those (e.g. non-car-owners) renting a car? Who’s going to administer this program; at what cost? How will it be enforced?

    Personally, I say just raise the parking rates and reduce parking, your other points.


Fun Facts About the Sad State of Parking Policy

Surface parking stretches halfway to the horizon in the heart of downtown Wichita, Kansas. Image: Wichita Walkshop via Flickr. If you haven’t checked out the ITDP parking report we covered yesterday, it’s a highly readable piece of research, walking you through parking policy’s checkered past and potentially brighter future. In addition to describing six cases […]

Data-Driven Parking Policy Pays Off in Seattle

Seattle is set to improve upon its successful street parking program by setting meter rates based on demand. The Seattle Department of Transportation keeps a close watch on curbside parking, reports Stephen Fesler at The Urbanist, with regular audits and adjustments to rates and hours for close to 12,000 spaces. SDOT’s goal is to reduce congestion, noise, […]

San Francisco Launches Ambitious Parking Reform Program

San Francisco is lunging out of the parking dark ages. Backed by the mayor and city council, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is launching "SFpark," a comprehensive, curbside parking reform project encompassing ten city neighborhoods. Starting in September, the $23 million SFpark program will use an array of new policies and technologies to raise […]

New York Falls Behind Big Northeast Cities on Parking Policy

The city of Philadelphia recently released a draft of its new comprehensive plan, Philadelphia2035 [PDF]. The plan’s release makes New York the last city in the four largest Northeastern metro areas that hasn’t so much as stated a commitment to cutting back on off-street parking. Philadelphia2035 calls for controlling congestion by adding parking maximums into […]