The effect of parking measures

Student information

Author: Johannes Martens

Institution: Hasselt University

Graduation year: 2015

The effect of parking measures in an urban context

As the population of the world continues to grow, as well as the portion of people living in cities and the number of privately used cars, it becomes increasingly important to create an urban environment which is sustainable and of good environmental quality.

Decision makers and urban planners have a whole plethora of measures that they can use at their disposal. One category of those measures is traffic demand management or TDM for short.

Traffic Demand Management

TDM combines both pull and push measures which can be used in conjunction to create a more equitable and sustainable transportation system.

  • Pull measures aim to increase the use of mode choices by improving them; either by appeal accessibility cost or performance.
  • Push measures aim to dissuade particular behaviour by implementing economic costs or other measures. These usually raise revenue, as well as quantify the cost of particular transport behaviours.

One particular category within TDM is that of parking measures, which have been in use for quite a while.

Particular parking measure

Parking pricing is the most known example of this. While decision makers and urban planners are aware of the tools at their disposal, they are often less certain of their effects in the setting that applies to them specifically. This report aims to shed light into that unknown, identifying the possible reactions that car users may show when confronted with a particular parking measure.

By submitting a sample in the population of the city of Geel to a self-completion questionnaire, data is gathered regarding their current transport behaviour, mobility options and reactions to five hypothetical scenario’s of parking measures.

First an online survey was used by distributing flyers with a URL, then a paper version was used to obtain a large enough sample.

This data led to the conclusion that road users indeed change their behaviour to evade parking measures, and the reaction to parking pricing is not as strong as a decrease in the number of available parking spaces.

Use of private car remains popular

Additionally, changing transportation modes, a switch to public transportation or the bicycle, is not as popular as continued use of a private car. Different people have different reactions, but no particular characteristic of individuals was influential across all distinct hypothetical cases and strategies.

Included in the report are recommendations for decision makers questioning how to shape their urban environments, as well as a reflection for future research on the topic.

"The reaction to parking pricing is not as strong as a decrease in the number of available parking spaces."