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This study offers a new set of regional data, from Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART)-served Transit-Oriented Developments (TODs), to inform future decisions about how parking is supplied, managed, and evaluated against alternative land uses to increase TOD investment and effectiveness in achieving growth and sustainability.

The North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) lead this study as part of Federal Transit Administration grant supporting TOD Planning. NCTCOG’s Parking Management Program includes additional data and resources supporting smart parking management.  

Excessive parking supply, whether provided to meet code requirements or perceived market demands, can create a cost barrier to TOD and reduce its potential transit ridership benefits. On-site parking constitutes a significant portion of overall development costs, typically ranging from 20% to over 30% in urbanized areas1. The guarantee of convenient on-site parking has also been consistently linked to increased reliance on driving and decreased use of transit, even in transit-rich locations2 – and even more so if the cost of this parking is minimized3 or built into the cost of a development’s housing or commercial-space costs4.

Yet, on-site parking remains a necessary amenity for most TOD investments, something that is particularly true for TOD in the DART region. The data and analysis presented in this report is provided to help cities and developers better anticipate rates of parking generation for land uses developed on sites with walkable access to DART stations. It is based on field-collected supply and occupancy data from 16 TODs located within 11 DART station areas. The central component of this report is a series of profiles from theses TODs, summarizing:

  • On-site parking supplies, relative to code requirements;

  • Parking demand patterns, from hourly measures completed continuously across a selected Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in the second half of 2018;

  • Parking pricing and other key management practices;

  • Incorporated land use types and measures;

  • Key mobility amenities: distance to DART service and regional bike networks, bike parking, and local bus connections.

Results provide localized measures of parking demand generated by common TOD land uses that can be used to inform both local development codes and developers’ parking-need assumptions, leading to more “right sized” parking inventories at future TODs. These data and analysis, and their implications, informed the compilation of best practices into a TOD Parking Toolbox, to be a standing reference document for aligning parking supply and management approaches to TOD objectives. The Toolbox presents a range of strategies for supporting code revisions, management practices, and growth strategies to encourage and facilitate TOD growth by optimizing their performance of established and future parking assets in the NCTCOG region.

 

[1] https://www.vtpi.org/park-hou.pdf (page 30)

[2] Weinberger, R., Death by a thousand curb-cuts: Evidence on the effect of minimum parking requirements on the choice to drive. Transport Policy (2012), doi:10.1016/j.tranpol.2011.08.002 (page 8)

[3] http://www.schallerconsult.com/pub/freeparking.htm

[4] https://mobilitylab.org/research-document/unbundling-parking-costs-is-a-top-way-to-promote-transportation-options/