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Parking Supply and Urban Impacts

Parking Issues and Policies

ISBN: 978-1-78350-919-5, eISBN: 978-1-78350-920-1

Publication date: 5 September 2014



This chapter explains the primary factors influencing the growth in parking supply, what the impacts have been in urban areas throughout the United States, efforts that are underway to better manage urban parking supply, and how these findings relate to international cities.


This chapter offers a review of prior research and literature, and further explores the impacts of parking using historical data from six cities and by focusing on two specific case studies. It also includes a discussion of global implications.


Parking supply has increased by anywhere from 70% to 160% in urban areas throughout the United States, thereby contributing to considerable land consumption and increases in local automobile use. These increases were driven in large part by minimum parking requirements and perceived market demand. Since 1980, parking growth has slowed considerably in cities that have implemented parking limits and parking management strategies.

Practical implications

Parking is typically viewed as a valuable amenity that should be provided indiscriminately. This work outlines the consequences associated with this view and highlights isolated cases in which policies have been successfully implemented to address the negative outcomes of conventional policy approaches.

Originality/value of paper

This chapter offers a comprehensive overview of prior research in parking policy and ties the findings to specific outcomes in urban areas throughout the United States. No other study to date has tracked long-term changes in urban parking supply or its impacts. This work provides a valuable perspective on the magnitude of those impacts and the potential to mitigate those impacts thorough policy reform.




We thank the many researchers who contributed to the parking assessments included in this chapter and Bryan Blanc, in particular, for his in-depth study of New Haven. We also thank the Center for Transportation and Livable Systems (CTLS) at the University of Connecticut and the University Transportation Centers (UTC) for funding a portion of this work.


McCahill, C. and Garrick, N. (2014), "Parking Supply and Urban Impacts", Parking Issues and Policies (Transport and Sustainability, Vol. 5), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 33-55.



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