This report examines the impacts of residential parking requirements (the number of offstreet parking spaces mandated at a particular location) on housing affordability. Increasing parking requirements increase housing development costs, which has reduced the supply of lower priced housing and raised costs to consumer. This report does not question the need for some off-street parking. The question issue is how best to determine parking requirements and manage available parking supply. It describes more efficient and equitable strategies that support social and environmental goals.
America’s automobile-centered transportation system was a key component of the nation’s economic prosperity during the 20th century. But our transportation system is increasingly out of step with the challenges of the 21st century. Rising fuel prices, growing traffic congestion, and the need to address critical challenges such as global warming and America’s addiction to imported oil all point toward the need for a new transportation future.
Rail, rapid buses and other forms of transit must play a more prominent role in America’s future transportation system. Clean, efficient transit service already saves billions of gallons of oil each year, reduces traffic congestion in our cities, and curbs emissions of pollutants that cause global warming. Transit also generates a host of other economic and quality-of-life benefits for our communities—indeed, every dollar we invest in transit generates approximately two dollars in these benefits.
Existing urban and suburban development patterns and the subsequent automobile dependence that is associated with them are leading to increased traffic congestion and air pollution. In response to the growing ills caused by urban sprawl, there has been an increased interest in creating more “livable” communities in which destinations are brought closer to one’s home or workplace (that is, achieving travel needs through land use planning). While several reports suggest best practices for integrated land use-planning, little research has focused on examining detailed relationships between actual travel behavior and mean distance to various services. For example, how far will pedestrians travel to access different types of destinations? How can we know if the “one quarter mile assumption” that has become conventional wisdom in planning and designing communities is reliable? How far will bicyclists travel to cycle on a bicycle only facility? How far do people…
NCHRP Web-Only Document 128: Consists of a set of recommended procedures for predicting traveler perceptions of quality of service and performance measures for urban streets. This users guide presents the multimodal level of service (MMLOS) analysis method for urban streets. It consists of a set of recommended procedures for predicting traveler perceptions of quality of service and performance measures for urban streets. These procedures consider the needs of people using the four major modes of travel on the street, their impacts on each other as they share the street, and their mode specific requirements for street design and operation.
Interest in fostering development around rail transit stations has many jurisdictions considering the best ways to plan for multiple modes of transportation in these areas. Efforts to increase the intensity and mix of development around rail station areas are intended to capitalize on the public investment in rail transit, boost ridership, increase rail access to homes and businesses, create environments that support the use of alternative modes, and foster economic development. In many areas, the increased density creates concerns about how to balance the needs of automobile users with pedestrians, cyclists and transit users, particularly as development is phased in over time.
Traditional approaches to evaluating transportation system performance include level of service (LOS) measures, which are detailed in the Highway Capacity Manual. The most commonly used measure is the automobile level of service at the intersection level, which is based on volume to…
Metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) develop regional transportation plans and programs to accommodate mobility needs within their regions. This process is commonly performed with the assistance of computerized travel demand models that provide information on current and future transportation system operations.
In 2003, the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Research Council (NRC) conducted a peer review of the travel demand modeling of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ (MWCOG) Transportation Planning Board (TPB), the MPO for Washington, D.C. In the course of this review, it became apparent that little information is available to practitioners to assist them in making judgments about state-of-the-practice techniques for model development and application. Although the NRC committee that conducted the review was charged with assessing whether the modeling of the MWCOG TPB was state of the practice, the committee had to rely on its…
The costs—economic and social—associated with large surface parking lots has been receiving more and more attention of late. Parking lots have been credited with impeding the establishment of a quality pedestrian environment, disrupting the urban fabric, encouraging greater auto use, and harming the environment.
In addition to these social and environmental costs, large surface parking lots also have an opportunity cost, which is the economic value of not putting the land on which these lots sit to some other use. Donald Shoup, a professor from UCLA, in his recent book, The High Cost of Free Parking, estimates the cost of free parking to the national economy is over $300 billion annually.
The development potential of parking lots is especially high when the lot is proximate to transit. Park-n-ride lots at rail transit stations, when developed consistent to Transit Oriented Development (TOD) principles, whether that be commercial, residential or mixed-use can…