Parking Research Suggests Changes in Future

The National Parking Association (NPA) released a groundbreaking study that demonstrates how parking can be applied as a shared mobility solution to reduce congestion. The study commissioned by NPA was authored by PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLC (PwC). Executives from the firm’s Strategy &, Global Automotive Practice, and U.S. Mobility Practice, served as the principal authors.

An Ecosystem Approach to Reducing Congestion explores the real causes of congestion and highlights how parking, in conjunction with other forms of mobility, optimizes infrastructure to effectively move people and goods in and out of cities.

NPA President Christine Banning, IOM, CAE said, “Livable cities are vital for real estate development, employment and tourism. Together, we can reduce congestion with a new vision for cities that embraces shared solutions and an ecosystem approach to reducing congestion.”

  • Off-street parking may need to be repurposed.
    For residential and commercial use. Surface lots or stand-alone structures could easily be repurposed for other real estate development or personal autonomous parking and fleet autonomous parking. Depending on the location, residential complexes or commercial office space or retail could be high-return alternatives.
  • As pickup and drop off points for TNCs. Designated pickup or drop-off zones for ride sharing or robo-taxis may be required in the future. Parking could be the extension of the curb in the future and fill this role.
    For AV fleet maintenance. Shared fleets will require a place both within and outside of city centers to clean, maintain and charge their vehicles. If relationships and new capabilities are developed, parking operators could fill this need.
  • For package warehousing and delivery centers. Facilities may be repurposed as urban delivery hubs given the high and increasing demand for package deliveries. This hub could also be used as take-off and drop-off points for drone deliveries, the last 50 yards. Delivery companies could mitigate congestion by making drop offs in off-peak hours to the parking “warehouses” and deliveries early in the morning, when businesses have someone to receive the packages.
    Parking facilities will need to be redesigned.
  • New facilities will require a higher electrical load to handle the electrification of vehicles. Most AVs in the future will be electric. It may be advantageous (or, depending on the course of regulatory change, required) for some or all parking stalls in a facility to offer charging infrastructure.
    The optimal layout for parking structures will change, as AVs can be packed more tightly together. Facilities will not require the same amount of space per vehicle as they do today.
  • New technologies may increase capacity. Lift systems or elevators may be used to pack vehicles more closely together and additional sensors for parking may be added. Automated parking technologies may allow for greater utilization of space.

Study findings highlight:

  • Facts & forecasts on population, urbanization & vehicle miles traveled.
  • Planning and funding models with levers for reducing congestion.
  • City archetypes & traffic patterns with implications for reducing congestion.
  • Case studies on New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
  • Shared parking and new applications for parking to park once and reinvent the curb.

Banning added, “The PwC study debunks congestion myths, provides planners and cities with models and levers for reducing congestion and demonstrates how reducing or eliminating parking minimums and applying a park once philosophy can support intermodal transit within cities.”