STEP 1: Diagnose Existing Situation

A diagnosis of the existing situation should be prepared with regard to parking in the city to highlight any problems. Critical areas should be identified where parking causes adverse impacts, such as bottlenecks, congestion, risk of accidents. An important aspect of the existing situation is the relationship between parking supply and demand. The ratio between the two provides a measure of occupancy and whether parking demand is exceeding available space. Surveys should be carried out to quantify this relationship.

At this stage, an existing and future land use plan for the study areas should also be identified, which categorizes areas or zones of land use, such as residential areas, commercial, and business sites. This information is important to determine whether existing parking controls and tariffs are appropriate to land usage and to formulate appropriate parking improvement plans. For example, integrated parking policies encourage the establishment of short-term parking in primarily retail-oriented areas to promote high turnover rates and therefore greater likelihood for open spaces for prospective shoppers.

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Parking Supply Inventory

A parking inventory survey should be carried out to produce a list of parking spaces by category, distinguishing between:

  • on-street and off-street supply;
  • type of on-street parking (i.e., on the left-hand side or right-hand side of the street, parallel, slotted, angled);
  • type of off-street parking (multilevel, underground, aboveground, at-grade, etc.);
  • publicly and privately operated lots;
  • parking restrictions (e.g. time of day, duration, private);
  • waiting and loading restrictions for private, public transport, and freight vehicles; and
  • short-term (including hourly) versus long-term (including weekly and monthly) parking supply.

At this stage, the existence (or lack) of proper signage or pavement painting for on-street facilities can also be recorded. The survey sheet for enumerators is attached in Annex 3.

Many streets in Indian cities are not demarcated with areas for parking. In such cases, an initial assessment will need to be made of the available capacity that the streets could provide, bearing in mind parking ‘bay’ requirements and areas that should have parking prohibitions.

The inventory survey should also include a survey of tariffs i.e. an inventory of parking charges by:

  • time of day;
  • day of week
  • ;
  • type of parking (on- and off-street as well as public and privately operated spaces); and
  • location. The method of payment should also be stated, as well as any parking discounts (perhaps from local merchants or retail enterprises).
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Demand Analysis

Parking demand basically has two aspects, i.e. ownership related and usage related. Ownership related parking is typically parking that takes place at the origin of a trip, usually the residence of the vehicle owner, and overnight. Usage related parking takes place at destinations (trip-ends) and tends to vary over time.

An analysis of parking demand should be carried out. This should include reporting of the key variables (i) Supply Occupancy, and (ii) Parking Duration, as described below.

Occupancy: The occupancy of an area or zone is a measure of the ratio of parking demand to supply. It can reveal whether existing supply is sufficient and whether unregulated parking is taking place. A 100% occupancy indicates that on average all available parking spaces are occupied ─ i.e. within an average or peak hour of the day. A parking utilization survey should be carried out to record the number of vehicles that occupy space on an hourly basis or at critical hours, such as morning, midday, and evening peaks. Such surveys should avoid days of unusual events, which could cause results that do not reflect the norm. Surveys over several consecutive days help to produce a reliable average. Permission may be required to survey parking areas run by private entities. In addition, parking duration surveys will determine the average length of stay of parked vehicles.

Duration: Parking duration provides a measure of the average length of time that vehicles are parked in particular areas. Typically the length of time is categorized into short (less than 2 hours), medium, and long term (all day) bands. This provides information on the nature of parking ─ i.e. the type of users and subsequently the type of controls that may be needed.

Whilst surveys will provide important information on the existing situation, the future scenario should also be assessed. It is difficult to forecast future parking demand, particularly in fast developing cities, such as small to medium sized cities in India. However, use can be made of a transport model to assess the volume of trip ends in particular areas (zones). In this way, the required timeline for implementing a parking scheme can be developed.

An example of parking demand and supply analysis in a CBD in Tokyo is provided in Annex 5.

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