A Parking Utilization Survey of Transit-Oriented Development Residential Properties in Santa Clara County
This technical report is the outcome of a collaborative research effort between a transportation agency, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), and a graduate student research team at San José State University’s (SJSU) Department of Urban and Regional Planning (DURP). The focus of this research project is on parking utilization at transit‐oriented development (TOD) residential projects in the southern portion of the San Francisco Bay Area. The intent of this research is to determine actual parking utilization for residents of 12 housing developments near VTA light rail and Caltrain stations, and to compare usage to parking supply and local requirements at these locations. The project has yielded information useful to planning practitioners and academia alike. The study follows recent research within the Bay Area that demonstrates many TOD residential properties are “over‐parked” (Cervero 2009). Locally, the study provides evidence to VTA to help inform decision‐makers and the public that less parking can and ought to be required for certain kinds of development projects. While this study focuses on Santa Clara County, it is expected to provide relevant information for similar development projects throughout the United States that are promoting TOD residential projects in the face of increasingly scare land resources.
The key finding of this study is that all 12 TOD residential properties surveyed offer more parking than residents need and actually use. Each of the survey sites has significant unused parking (see Figure 6.4). As shown in Figure 6.1, about 26 percent of available parking spaces for the 12 survey sites were unused at the time of the on‐the‐ground surveys. The fact that the parking supply rate is found higher than the parking demand rate for all 12 sites (22 percent higher on average) indicates that more parking is provided than is actually needed (see Table 6.1 and Figure 6.5). This research project provides evidence that TOD residential projects in Santa Clara County may be “overparked.”