Parking Management Strategies

Managing and financing public parking is often a key component of a successful TOD/smart growth plan. Many transit station areas need expensive parking structures to accommodate commuters and adjacent development instead of surface parking lots. In other station areas or infill districts, parking management strategies can help ensure efficient use of existing parking spaces reducing the amount of new parking needed while helping to attract new shoppers and transit users, mitigate traffic congestion, generate funding for neighborhood improvements, and protect nearby residential neighborhoods from visitor, employee, and/or commuter parking. These case studies describe various methods and strategies for managing and financing parking to support TOD and smart growth development in an urban setting.

Old Pasadena Parking Management Zone
Old Pasadena’s parking management strategy is one of the most frequently cited examples of a multipronged approach to alleviating parking issues and funding improvements in the Southern California region. Innovative parking strategies have assisted the revival of Old Pasadena as a commercial destination, and the area is now one of the most vibrant downtowns in the region. In the early 1990s, the city devised two creative parking policies to fund downtown improvements and mitigate future parking congestion. First, the city reinstalled parking meters in the downtown and used meter revenues to finance local improvements, establishing a parking management district with a local citizen advisory board that set meter rates and enacted parking policy in the district. The net revenues of the program financed a number of streetscape improvements that improved the commercial viability of Old Pasadena. Secondly, a parking credit program for commercial property owners satisfied off-street parking requirements in three downtown public parking structures. In 2004, the Old Pasadena Management District assumed control of the administration and management of the structures. Proactive management strategies have helped boost garage occupancy rates, an added benefit to the local merchant community.