The average parking space requires approximately 300 square feet of asphalt. That’s the size of a studio apartment in New York and enough room to hold 10 bicycles. Space devoted to parking in growing urban and suburban areas is highly contested—not only from other uses from housing to parklets, but between drivers who feel entitled to easy access. Without parking management, parking is a free-for-all—a competitive sport—with arbitrary winners and losers. Historically drivers have been the overall winners in having free or low-cost parking, while an oversupply of parking has created a hostile environment for pedestrians.
In the last 50 years, parking management has grown from a minor aspect of local policy and regulation to a central position in the provision of transportation access. The higher densities, tight land supplies, mixed land uses, environmental and social concerns, and alternative transportation modes of Smart Growth demand a different approach—actively managed parking.
This book offers a set of tools and a method for strategic parking management so that communities can better use parking resources and avoid overbuilding parking. It explores new opportunities for making the most from every parking space in a sharing economy and taking advantage of new digital parking tools to increase user interaction and satisfaction. Examples are provided of successful approaches for parking management—from Pasadena to London. At its essence, the book provides a path forward for strategic parking management in a new era of tighter parking supplies.