suburban street with minimal parking

Code Incentives for Public Parking

The most common form of a shared-parking incentive is to reduce a project’s minimum parking requirement if it can demonstrate that diverse land-uses and shared-parking management will provide supply efficiencies.

Some more innovative approaches focus on promoting parking that is shared between uses at a broader scale, essentially providing a form of public parking for the area in which the project is proposed. In some cases, a minimum number of shared parking spaces are required to be provided. Another approach is to set a maximum on parking that is not shared, indirectly incentivizing shared parking at projects that propose parking in excess of the maximum. These code strategies typically include functional definitions of shared parking that set a minimum number of contiguous hours and minimum number of total hours in a day, during which the shared parking must be made publicly available.

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Key Benefits

  • Helps to create public parking in areas otherwise likely to consist primarily or entirely of accessory parking reserved for residents, tenants, and customers of specific destinations/buildings

  • Ensure that shared parking is provided in all new developments

  • Make the best possible use of a limited parking supply

  • Assist municipalities in providing adequate public parking in dense areas

  • Create opportunities for public-private partnerships related to parking

  • Prevent oversupply of parking by ensuring that all spaces are able to be used at different times of day

  • Work in concert with broader parking maximums to facilitate dense, mixed-use TOD

  • Create opportunities for municipalities to directly manage new parking that is built as part of private development

Case Studies



Shared Parking Incentives

Arlington County, VA

Arlington County adopted a series of form-based codes to guide development in the Columbia Pike Revitalization District beginning in 2003. These codes included provisions for shared parking in new developments as well as non-shared parking maximums. Shared parking spaces are defined as spaces which are accessible to the public for at least 8 contiguous hours, and 12 total hours, for each 24-hour period. This combination of shared parking requirements and non-shared parking maximums ensures that all new development in the Revitalization District provides some new, public/shared parking spaces while also ensuring that total parking supply does not grow too quickly and diminish the desired mixed-use, dense character of the neighborhood. In addition to this direct incentive, the form-based code also promotes parking that is located underground or to the rear of buildings.

Shared Parking Model

Dallas, TX

Dallas does not have specific requirements for shared parking. However, Dallas’ parking standards allow parking minimums to be reduced based on the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Shared Parking Model. This is done on a case-by-case basis depending on the results of the Shared Parking Model. While the reduction allowed for shared parking is not formalized beyond this, the ULI Shared Parking Model is considered an industry standard for the evaluation of shared parking and serves as an effective benchmark for the impact of shared parking on a given development.

Implementation Considerations


Role of Public Sector

  • Revises codes to incentivize the provision of shared publicly-accessible parking

  • Initiates outreach to property owners, employers, and parking operators to ensure that incentive parameters are understood

  • Monitors implementation to ensure that credited parking is functioning as shared/public parking


Role of Private Sector

  • Considers the option of sharing parking as a means of providing more parking than is allowed to be reserved for the developed land uses



  • Incentives will inform decisions about parking supplies at new developments

  • Credited parking should be observed periodically to confirm that it is being offered in accordance with the parameters of the incentive