Thursday, February 3, 2011

Parking On Demand- Lessons Learned from Europe

Europe’s Parking U-Turn: From Accommodation to Regulation (84 page pdf, ITDP, Spring 2011)

Also discussed here: European Parking U-Turn Reaps Rewards: Ideas for the Rest of the World (Sustran-discuss, Jan. 19, 2011)

Some advocates for congestion pricing advocate improved approaches for managing urban parking as an intermediary step. Today’s report under review summarizes some innovative practices from European cities, such as London, Paris, Stockholm, Strasbourg and others. The methods include steps taken to reduce parking space and make longer stays more expensive, as well as the use of new technology, such as the use of GPS and paying by cell phone.

Key Quotes:

“In most cities around the world, parking policy is either non-existent, poorly coordinated, or used to make driving more convenient. A growing number of European cities, by contrast, are using parking policy to meet goals like improving air quality, reducing traffic congestion, making streets more liveable, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and freeing up road space for bike lanes and public space”

“Using pricing to ensure turnover at the curb, and allocate scarce parking space to those who need it most, is becoming the norm”

“Most of Europe is moving to multi-space meters, which have more flexibility in terms of the allocation of spaces and pricing, and tend to have lower maintenance costs”

“The next wave of parking-fee-collection technology is in-vehicle meters that are linked to a GPS system. A few trials are underway to use GPS technology to vary parking charges based on location, time of day, and day of week, to optimize parking system performance”

Four main approaches:
  • Economic mechanisms: Many European cities not only vary on-street parking charges to maintain 85% occupancy rates, but the most progressive cities are harmonizing on-street and off-street parking fees
  • Regulatory mechanisms: A few leading European cities have replaced minimums with caps and maximums on new parking construction to avoid generating new car trips, and thus reduce CO2 emissions.
  • Physical design: Parking is being used to slow traffic on local streets and protect bike lanes from higherspeed traffic on arterials.
  • Quality of Service Contracting: Outsourcing certain aspects of parking management to a private third party has shown to improve parking management and increase the cost recovery from parking fees and fines.
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