Thursday, January 20, 2011

European cities are reaping the rewards of innovative parking policies

European cities are reaping the rewards of innovative parking policies
So says a new report, Europe’s Parking U-Turn: From Accommodation to Regulation, from the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP).

Source: ITDP (2011) Europe’s Parking U-Turn: From Accommodation to Regulation, p18

Here is an excerpt from the Executive Summary (I have added a link):
This paper is the second in a series of policy papers from ITDP on parking. The first paper, released in Spring 2010, focused on successful parking practices in U.S. cities. This paper reviews successful parking practices in European cities. Parking management is a critical and often overlooked tool for achieving a variety of social goals. For much of the 20th Century, cities in Europe, like cities in the rest of the world, used parking policy mainly to encourage the construction of additional off-street parking, hoping to ease a perceived shortage of parking.
In the last few decades a growing number of European cities have led the world in changing the direction of parking policy. European citizens grew tired of having public spaces and footpaths occupied by surface parking. ...
In the cities reviewed here, parking policy has been reoriented around alternative social goals. Some recent parking reforms are driven by the need to comply with EU ambient air quality or national greenhouse gas targets. Other new parking policies are part of broader mobility targets encouraging reductions in the use of private motor vehicles. While London, Stockholm, and a few other European cities have managed to implement congestion charging to reduce motor vehicle use, more are turning to parking.

The ten cities featured are Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Copenhagen, London, Munich, Paris, Stockholm, Strasbourg and Zurich. The report was written by Michael Kodransky and Gabrielle Hermann.

Key findings include:
  • Parking is increasingly linked to public transport. Amsterdam, Paris, Zurich and Strasbourg limit how much parking is allowed in new developments based on how far it is to walk to a bus, tram or metro stop. Zurich has made significant investments in new tram and bus lines while making parking more expensive and less convenient. As a result, between 2000 and 2005, the share of public transit use went up by 7%, while the share of cars in traffic declined by 6%.
  • European cities are ahead of the rest of the world in charging rational prices for on-street parking. In Paris, the on-street parking supply has been reduced by more than 9% since 2003, and of the remaining stock, 95% is paid parking. The result, along with other transport infrastructure improvements, has been a 13% decrease in driving.
  • Parking reforms are becoming more popular than congestion charging. While London, Stockholm, and a few other European cities have managed to implement congestion charging, more are turning to parking. Parking caps have been set in Zurich and Hamburg’s business districts to freeze the existing supply, where access to public transport is easiest.
  • Revenue gathered from parking tariffs is being invested to support other mobility needs. In Barcelona, 100% of revenue goes to operate Bicing—the city’s public bike system. Several boroughs in London use parking revenue to subsidize transit passes for seniors and the disabled, who ride public transit for free.
Click here for a copy of the report (PDF).

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Singapore's Today newspaper on my parking policy ideas

Singapore's Today newspaper on my parking policy ideas
Journalists like a local policy angle. So yesterday when a journalist from the Today newspaper here in Singapore called to ask about the Asian parking study she naturally asked what it means for Singapore parking policy.

The resulting article by Neo Chai Chin came out today under the title "Missed opportunity in parking policy?"

[UPDATE: The link to the article is now dead, so I have now placed its text at the bottom of this post.]

The Asian cities parking study itself doesn't make recommendations for Singapore specifically but, among other points, it does express surprise that parking policy here is rather conventional (using minimum parking requirements). It also seems odd that parking policy plays only a very small part in Singapore's robust Travel Demand Management efforts.

But I have been thinking a lot about how Shoupista-style parking policy might apply in Singapore. So when the journalist asked what I would suggest, I (rashly?) explained that performance pricing for public-sector parking should offer benefits and would be more consistent with Singapore's wider transport and urban planning priorities.

Anyway, do take a look at the article itself.  I see a few points in it that I would like to clarify or correct. Not today however. My detailed comments can wait.

[The full text of the Today article is below.]

Parking Location

Missed opportunity in parking policy?
Researcher says market-based pricing better, others believe implementation will be tricky
by Neo Chai Chin
05:55 AM Jan 06, 2011
1 comment