A Framework for Quantifying Suburban Parking Maxima
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The provision and pricing of parking are recognized as important tools for achieving transportation demand management (TDM) objectives. Much of the existing literature on the topic concentrates on downtown cores and calls for the application of maximum parking allowances to limit supplies. This thesis presents an analysis of existing suburban parking supplies in order to quantify parking maxima. The total number of spaces provided, footprint required to accommodate the spaces and the employment to which parking is providing are quantified. The totals are separated by different land use categories and quantities of employment are normalized to account for high trip-generating jobs such as retail. Parking supplies are examined as a function of traditional land use market theory and across primary land use categories. The results indicate that employment is a fairly weak indicator of parking supply, while weighted employment that considers the effects of retail is a much stronger indicator. On average, very high and very low land use densities have the lowest parking requirements per employee (0.39 spaces per employee) while moderate land use densities have the least diversity of land use, yet the highest supply of employee parking (4.01 spaces per employee). The methodology applied may be used to produce quantitative maxima to be incorporated into local parking bylaws that are recognized as potentially strong TDM tools. Further research that compares the observed parking supply patterns across a series of mid-sized cities is recommended to make stronger conclusions regarding the range of maximum values.