Rules of thumb for ideal parking policy

Thursday, 9 March 2017

by: Sacha Oerlemans

An average utilisation rate of about 80 percent means that parking spaces are well-used and traffic cruising for a place to park is limited. This is one of the rules of thumb that parking experts use when implementing a parking strategy.

A lack of spaces means that parking pressure increase at many places. But some car parks are under-utilised.

There are several ways to change parking behaviour. For instance, parking behaviour can be influenced through an intervention in the infrastructure, or through legislation and regulations, or a campaign or reward. The trick is to choose the measure where the relationship between cost, effort, and effect is optimal and that is tailored to the situation.

An new publication Parking and Behaviour  Parkeren en gedrag [in Dutch] from CROW (the Dutch knowledge platform for infrastructure, traffic, transport and public space) gives a complete overview of all relevant expertise available on this topic, drawn on literature studies and actual cases. The key ‘lessons learned’ – sometimes based on the literature, sometimes on one or more practical examples – are documented as rules of thumb.

We have selected 7.

  • Pre-booking systems can reduce the average distance driven while looking for a place to park by half compared to a ‘blind search’.
  • An average utilisation rate of about 80% means that parking spaces are well-used and traffic cruising for a place to park is limited. An average utilisation rate of < 60% is often considered a sign that parking is ‘too expensive’. Average utilisation rate of 90% is often considered a sign that parking is ‘too cheap’.
  • Two thirds of all parking spaces is public, one third is private. Working on the assumption that half is not always occupied, tradable permits could mean that the net capacity for visitors can be increased by up to 20%.
  • Motorists who pay on leaving, park on average for 7% longer.
  • During the day at shops, businesses and educational institutions, there is about 10% to 15% residual capacity. In the evenings, these parking spaces are usually empty. This residual capacity remains largely unused.
  • 56% of the motorists notice parking guidance systems and 12% of motorists allow themselves to be guided by these routing systems.
  • A loyalty programme can result in a 2 to 6% increase in annual revenue per customer.

This is a translated extract from Verkeersnet