The Impact of Parking Policies on the Long-term Vitality of American Cities

Over the past fifty years, some cities in the United States have experienced dramatic losses in population and other aspects of their vibrancy, while others have thrived. One potential explanation for this divergence in the fate of different cities that has not been sufficiently researched is parking policy. This lack of research is ironic since parking is one of the most important manifestations of the transportation system and takes up more space in cities than any other single category of use. In this project the plan is to refine and expand a pilot study of parking conducted for 14 medium-sized cities across the United States. This study suggests that in some cities, a vicious cycle emerged between the number of parking spaces, the amount of driving, and the population density of the city. In other places where policies were less permissive with respect to parking, a virtuous cycle took hold. Expanding this pilot study to more locations and refining the data by using more sophisticated estimation techniques will help to make the study more robust. The specific goal of the expanded study is to isolate those aspects of the parking policy that are most associated with slowing, or even eliminating, the growth of parking in some cities. It is expected that the results of this study will help to guide future parking policy as cities seek to become more livable.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $135272.00
  • Contract Numbers:



  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

    U.S. Department of Transportation
    East Building, 2nd Floor 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Performing Organizations:

    New England University Transportation Center

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    77 Massachusetts Avenue, Room 40-279
    Cambridge, MA  United States  01239
  • Start Date: 20120101
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20160131
  • Source Data: RiP Project 33389

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01489783
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: New England University Transportation Center
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT12-G-UTC01, UCNR24-28
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Aug 15 2013 1:01AM