Research Portal

July 1, 2022

Evaluating the Impact of Transit Service on Parking Demand and Requirements

Rowe, Daniel H.; Bae, Christine; Shen, Qing. (2011). Evaluating the Impact of Transit Service on Parking Demand and Requirements. Transportation Research Record, 2245, 56 – 62.

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Many jurisdictions in the United States typically set minimum parking requirements for residential multifamily developments based on old data that were collected in suburban settings with little transit availability. Such parking requirements applied to urban settings with adequate transit service often result in an oversupply of parking, which in turn creates a barrier to smart growth. Not only does the oversupply of parking encourage automobile use and reduce housing affordability, but it also increases development costs, consumes land and natural resources, and increases associated air and water pollution. This research examines the relationship of parking demand and transit service in First Hill Capitol Hill (FHCH) and Redmond, two urban centers in King County, Washington. An alternative method to collect parking demand data is explored. The results show a strong relationship between transit service and parking demand. The FHCH urban center, which abuts downtown Seattle, exhibited higher levels of transit service and lower parking demand. Parking demand in FHCH was observed to be 0.52 parking space per dwelling unit, which was about 50% less than parking demand observed in Redmond, a growing mixed-use suburban center, and 50% less than data reported by the Institute of Transportation Engineers. After a review of the parking policies of each urban center, opportunities to improve regulations including adjusting minimum parking requirements and allowing for reductions in required parking when developers implement solutions to reduce demand for parking were identified.