Curb Space Management
Historically, curb spaces have been used primarily for a combination of personal vehicle parking and commercial vehicles loading/unloading.
When and where either of these uses exceeded capacity, regulations and restrictions, such as time limits or meters or designated loading zones, have traditionally been applied to keep demand in balance with available capacities. As more varied uses for this space – passenger pickup/dropoff, bike/bus lanes, bike parking, shared bike/scooter zones, parklets, and curb/sidewalk extensions – have emerged and gained in popularity, management of this space has become more intentional, active, and innovative – with an increasing focus on optimizing the unique value that these spaces provide in terms of access and mobility.
To the extent that curb spaces within and surrounding TODs can be optimized in this way, their off-street parking resources can be more narrowly focused on providing employee and resident parking, while providing visitors and goods/service providers high-convenience points of access.
Optimizes the functional value of critical curbside spaces, making TOD areas more accessible in the process
Regulates competing uses and functions in favor of those that best support development and district objectives
Buffers pedestrian/sidewalk areas from traffic in adjacent travel lanes
Extends pedestrian/sidewalk areas, where curb-extensions and parklets are incorporated
Improves the functionality of transit, cycling, shared-mobility services, and other travel modes that can reduce off-street parking needs and activity area streets, sidewalks, and public spaces
Creating Curbside Parking
In 2019, the City of Charlotte updated its TOD zoning code to better facilitate desired forms of development within key growth districts along its light rail lines. Streetscape elements in the updated code have triggered the creation of several blocks of on-street parking on key streets. These spaces are recessed from the previous right-of-way, created within the setback of the development site, but are managed by the City to provide public short-term parking capacity. This has helped support the expansion and vitality of retail activity in the South End district – a former manufacturing district that had lacked on-street parking infrastructure to support retail activity. South End has experienced rapid residential and office growth since the Lynx light rail line began operations there, spurring transformational levels of new development around each station. The development code, however, did not effectively result in adequate, suitable parking to support the ground-floor retail uses becoming common throughout the district. The new code, combined with updated corridor plans that define preferred right-of-way configurations, has quickly addressed this need, with several recent projects adding on-street parking that will support their own retail uses, and those of the larger district.
Demand-Based On-Street Parking Pricing on West 7th Street
Fort Worth, TX
West 7th Street in Fort Worth is a popular corridor for nightlife, restaurants, and shopping. In 2018, the City implemented a pricing structure for on-street parking which varied depending on the demand. For example, a person visiting the area for an early lunch on a Friday can expect to pay less for parking than if they were visiting later that night (when traffic is typically busier). The introduction of a “premium” meter rate during expected peak times along West 7th Street helps visitors consider other choices to access the area including ride-hailing, transit, or parking for less in an off-street lot or garage. At the time of the dynamic pricing rollout, the West 7th Bar and Restaurant Association was involved in ensuring employees could park in one of 400 parking spaces made available at Farrington Field, a school district property which was underutilized on evenings and weekdays.
Role of Public Sector
Ensures that codes encourage the creation of public, on-street parking at TODs
Develops process for determining and supporting higher and better use of curbside parking spaces
Actively regulates curbside occupancy to optimize availability for preferred uses, by time of day and day of week
(Most typically) Establishes restrictions, pricing, and/or time limits for curbside occupancy to maintain space availability for short-term parking needs
Monitors availability/occupancy conditions over time, and adjusts restrictions, price, and/or time limits as necessary to achieve desired levels of availability
Balances short-term parking needs with those of other curbside uses to optimize the value of the curb space on each block.
Role of Private Sector
Coordinates on-site off-street parking management with curbside management to optimize synergies to improve the overall parking and access experience at their property
Viable for both established and future TODs