Dept. of Transportation
Metro Transit Division
King Street Center
201 S. Jackson St
Seattle, WA 98104
Over-building of parking supply leads to increased automobile ownership, vehicle miles traveled, congestion and housing costs. In addition, it presents barriers to smart growth and efficient transit service. King County Metro has an interest in encouraging land uses, policies, and development that overcome these barriers and lead to communities that transit can serve efficiently and effectively. Parking supply and pricing often have a direct impact on jurisdictions ability to create compact, healthy communities. By providing locally credible and context-sensitive data on parking demand, our region has the opportunity to:
- Support economic development by reducing barriers to building mixed-use multi-family residential developments in urban centers near transit infrastructure;
- Reduce housing costs as well as household monthly expenditures allowing a larger demographic to participate in the urban, infill housing market;
- Encourage use of transit, rideshare, bike and walk;
- Reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and greenhouse gases (GHG).
King County Metro has been awarded a grant in the FHWA Value Pricing Program to address the issues around multi-family residential parking supply in King County. The project will assemble local information on multi-family residential parking demand to guide parking supply and management decisions in the future. The project will also incent jurisdictions and developers for actions to reduce parking supply or to manage the supply through a range of tools.
Who will benefit?
Developers, public decision makers, and communities will all benefit from the outcome of this project. With updated context-sensitive information on parking demand, cities can regulate development in way that meets local and regional goals and developers can build more housing near transit and sell it for less.
Metro Transit Division
King County Department of Transportation
201 South Jackson Street
Seattle, WA 98104-3856
Market Development, Service Development
The King County Right Size Parking Calculator is a map-based web tool that lets users estimate parking use for multi-family developments, in the context of specific sites. The calculator can help analysts, planners, developers, and community members weigh factors that will affect parking use at multi-family housing sites. It will help them consider how much parking is "just enough" when making economic, regulatory, and community decisions about development.
The Calculator is based on a model using current local data of actual parking use collected in 2012 at over 200 developments in urban and suburban localities in King County, Washington. The parking use data is correlated with factors related to the building, its occupants, and its surroundings- particularly transit, population and job concentrations. The user adjusts the scenario using variables related to the building and its location, including proximity to transit, jobs and population. Understanding the influence of these variables helps determine how much parking is "just enough" for a particular site.
While it is intended to help support and guide parking supply and management decisions, it should not be viewed as a definitive answer. Rather, it should be seen as a resource to inform discussions, weigh the factors impacting parking demand, and help consider the proper provision of parking.
You can access the calculator at: www.rightsizeparking.org
The Right Size Parking Project will achieve the following objectives through coordinated work with our partners and continual feedback from regional stakeholders including the Urban Land Institute and local jurisdictions.
The project will:
- Provide context-sensitive multi-family residential parking demand information on a website to guide stakeholders decisions about building new parking and managing existing parking.
- Offer incentives to jurisdictions and developers to test pricing and right-sizing of parking supply in residential and commercial developments;
- Engage the development community through professional forums to utilize new parking demand information and implement pricing and management techniques.
Read the full scope and budget for the project.
Right Size Parking is undertaking a series of demonstration projects that build on the research and analysis phase of the project, transforming key findings and concepts into real-world applications. These pilot projects are driven by stakeholder engagement and fit into one of two categories:
- Policy-based pilots work to align jurisdiction parking regulations with regional goals. Through a competitive bid process, four King County cities were selected as partners and are now working with RSP staff and consultants to analyze potential policy changes.
- Kent: Identify best code and management strategies for mixed use areas in the suburban context.
- Kirkland: Establish parking requirements that reflect market demand and prevent spillover.
- Seattle: Evaluate existing policies and programs, explore private shared parking opportunities.
- Tukwila: Identify parking strategies for TIBS station-area; explore private shared parking.
- Pricing-based pilots test parking pricing with innovative parking management and Transportation Demand Management (TDM) strategies, and will begin in early 2014. Four partners were recently selected through a competitive bid process: Capitol Hill Housing, El Centro de la Raza, Hopelink, and Zipcar. The details of these pilots are currently being solidified; more details will be added here as they become available.
We would like to thank the following partners:
Links to Related Research
- Minimum Efforts: How a City Successfully Addressed Minimum Parking Requirements for Multifamily Properties, Daniel Rowe, Parking Professional Magazine, November 2013
- Do Land Use, Transit, and Walk Access Affect Residential Parking Demand?, Daniel Rowe, Ransford S. McCourt, P.E., PTOE, Stephanie Morse, and Peter Haas, Ph.D., ITE Journal, February 2013
- Contemporary Approaches to Parking Pricing: A Primer, U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, May 2012
- Getting the Parking Right for Transit-Oriented Development, Ming Zhang, Katie Mulholland, Jane Zhang, and Ana J. Gomez-Sanchez, Center for Transportation Research, University of Texas at Austin, March 2012
- Searching for the Right Spot: Minimum Parking Requirements and Housing Affordability in New York City, Furman Center for Real Estate & Urban Policy, New York University, March 2012
- Evaluating the Impact of Transit Service on Parking Demand and Requirements, Daniel H. Rowe, C.-H. Christine Bae, and Qing Shen, Transportation Research Record 2245, December 2011
- San Diego Affordable Housing Parking Study, Wilbur Smith Associates, December 2011
- Parking Evaluation: Evaluating Parking Problems, Solutions, Costs, and Benefits, Victoria Transport Policy Institute, October 2011
- Parking Pricing Implementation Guidelines, Todd Litman, Victoria Transport Policy Institute, March 2011
- Parking Demand and Zoning Requirements for Suburban multi-family Housing, Richard Willson and Michael Roberts, 90th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, January 2011
- A Parking Utilization Survey of Transit-Oriented Development Residential Properties in Santa Clara County, San Jose State University and Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, December 2010
- The Trouble With Minimum Parking Requirements, Donald Shoup, December 1999
- Smart Growth Alternatives to Minimum Parking Requirements, Christopher V. Forinash, Adam Millard-Ball, Charlotte Dougherty and Jeffrey Tumlin