The effectiveness of parking policies to reduce parking demand pressure and car use

Evaluating the effectiveness of parking policies to relieve parking demand pressure in central areas and to reduce car use requires an investigation of traveler responses to different parking attributes, including the money and time costs associated with parking. Existing parking studies on this topic are inadequate in two ways. First, few studies have modeled parking choice and mode choice simultaneously, thus ignoring the interaction between these two choice realms. Second, existing studies of travel choice behavior have largely focused on the money cost of parking while giving less attention to non-price-related variables such as parking search time and egress time from parking lot to destination. To address these issues, this paper calibrates a joint model of travel mode and parking location choice, using revealed-preference survey data on commuters to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, a large university campus. Key policy variables examined include parking cost, parking search time, and egress time. A comparison of elasticity estimates suggested that travelers were very sensitive to changes in egress time, even more so than parking cost, but they were less sensitive to changes in search time. Travelers responded to parking policies primarily by shifting parking locations rather than switching travel mode. Finally, our policy simulation results imply some synergistic effects between policy measures; that is, when pricing and policy measures that reduce search and egress time are combined, they shape parking demand more than the sum of their individual effects if implemented in isolation. “