Modeling Parking

Very few topics will drive as passionate a debate as parking. Whenever we want to go somewhere and can’t find a space to park in when we get there, we subconsciously understand there’s a parking problem. Whenever buildings get proposed we worry whether there’s “enough” parking. We raze beautiful structures and put up incredibly ugly garages–all in the name of more parking. Yet it never seems to work: no matter how much parking we add, there’s still a parking problem, until we add so much we destroy the destination people want to go to. In New Urbanist circles, this is often called Pensacola Parking Syndrome.

So a different set of tools are needed. A more data-driven approach. Supply management approaches have not been successful. This implies we need to understand both supply and demand, and how to manage demand in the face of constrained supply. To do this we need to know how many spaces we have, and what demands are made on those spaces. From there we can seek a happy medium.

The first tool in this arsenal is the Onstreet Supply Estimator, a combinatoric model that tells you how many spaces you can have, and (roughly) how many you do have. The latter also gives you the upper bound on available supply without requiring takings. The Onstreet Supply Estimator is available contract. Please click here for a fee schedule.

The second tool is the Neighborhood Demand Estimator, planned to utilize survey techniques and aggregate modeling. It is still under construction. If you are interested in aiding its further development, please click here.

The final tool in this package is a Policy Document, a summary of the models’ findings and a framework for further development of parking policy based on this approach. As the Neighborhood Demand Estimator is incomplete, the Policy Document does not currently exist as a separate package from the Onstreet Supply Estimator.

Please click here to get in touch with me.


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