Parking Management

Parking facilities constitute a major cost of doing business for both businesses and local governments. Parking conflicts are among the most common problems facing designers, operators, planners and other officials. When used effectively, parking management can significantly reduce the number of parking spaces required in a particular situation, providing a variety of economic, social and environmental benefits.

Parking Management is a form of Transportation Demand Management. It can be a tactic to reduce congestion and encourage travelers to switch to alternative travel modes.

The benefits of parking management strategies include:

  • Cost savings for business and government
  • More livable and walkable communities
  • Using Smart Growth principles to use land more efficiently
  • More aesthetically pleasing parking solutions
  • Adding support for various transit modes
  • Allowing higher density


There are many strategies that can be implemented with Parking Management. These are just a few.

  • Parking Cash Out Parking cash out is a commuter benefit in which an employer offers employees the option to accept taxable cash income instead of a free or subsidized parking space at work. The idea behind parking cash out is simple: given a choice of cash or a parking space, many people would prefer to receive cash.
  • Unbundling Parking Unbundling means that parking is rented or sold separately, rather than automatically included with building space. For example, rather than renting an apartment with two parking spaces for $1,000 per month, the apartment would rent for $800 per month, plus $100 per month for each parking space. This is more equitable and efficient, since occupants only pay for parking they need.
  • Shared Parking Shared Parking means that a parking facility serves multiple users or destinations. This is most successful if destinations have different peak periods, or if they share patrons so motorists park at one facility and walk to multiple destinations. Parking facilities can be shared in several ways.
    • Shared Rather Than Reserved Spaces. Motorists share parking spaces, rather than being assigned a reserved space. For example, 100 employees can usually share 60-80 parking spaces, since at any particular time some are on leave, commuting by an alternative mode, in the field, or working another shift. Hotels, apartments, condominiums and dormitories can share parking spaces among several units, since the number of vehicles per unit varies over time. Sharing can be optional, so for example, motorists could choose between $60 per month for a shared space or $100 for a reserved space.
    • Share Parking Among Destinations. Parking can be shared among multiple destinations. For example, an office building can share parking with a restaurant or theater, since peak demand for offices occurs during weekdays, and on weekend evenings for restaurants and theaters. Sharing can involve mixing land uses on single site, such as a mall or campus, or by creating a sharing arrangement between sites located suitably close together.
  • Minimum or Maximum Parking Requirements Local building codes or zoning ordinances generally control the amount of parking that must or may be provided at a site by the site developer or owner. Typically, parking requirements are specified as a ratio of the number of parking spaces required/allowed per square foot, per dwelling unit, or per some other measure of intensity of use, taking into account the type of use proposed for the site. Parking codes traditionally stipulate a minimum number of spaces required, or may be framed in terms of maximums.
  • On-Street Residential Neighborhood Parking Management Local jurisdictions may adopt measures to restrict parking by non-residents. These restrictions may involve permitting, various parking duration limits, and active enforcement and penalties.
  • Overflow Parking Plans Overflow parking plans describe the management strategies that will be applied when parking facilities fill, for example, during special events, peak shopping periods, or temporary reductions in parking supply. Because most parking facilities are sized to accommodate peak demands that seldom occur, an overflow parking plan can significantly reduce the amount of parking needed, and provide reassurance that reduced supply will not create problems.