ITDP Celebrates Park(ing) Day with Events in 8 Countries Around the World

Sep 16, 2011, 08:15 ET from Institute for Transportation and Development Policy

Activities Call Attention to the Need for Better Parking Management and Enforcement

NEW YORK, Sept. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Cities worldwide have harnessed the power of parking to manage traffic congestion, fund streetscape improvements and support transit and cycling. Amsterdam, Barcelona, Munich, and San Francisco among others offer progressive examples. This year the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy celebrates Park(ing) Day in over a dozen locations in eight countries on four continents, to call attention to the good, the bad and the ugly in parking policy and practice.

Park(ing) Day showcases the myriad of alternate uses for curbside spaces and open lots, invites the public to question how we use this space, and what we should fairly charge for it.

"Many aspects of current parking management in cities around the world are not working reliably or efficiently for anyone. The issue is that parking policy, if it exists at all, is currently an afterthought rather than central to a long-term congestion mitigation and air quality," said Dr. Walter Hook, Executive Director of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy. "Cities that employ better parking management techniques are reaping economic, environmental and political rewards."

Unfortunately many cities worldwide have a triple-play of parking mismanagement: free or underpriced parking in central business districts; zoning regulations that encourage the overproduction of parking spaces in new buildings and failure to crack down on bad parking behaviors including illegal parking, especially on sidewalks, or illegal valet operations.

All of this leads to increased traffic congestion, decreased air quality, and can also result in degraded public spaces overrun with illegally parked vehicles.

Some of the problems that ITDP has observed around the world include:

In India, the National Urban Transport Policy (NUTP) states that cities should charge on-street parking rates equivalent to the real estate values of surrounding properties. If that was true of CG Road, the premier shopping street of Ahmedabad, India, drivers would pay over Rs. 8000 per hour ($168 USD), instead they pay just 5 ($0.10 USD).

In Rio de Janerio, Brazil: The new "Centro Metropolitano da Barra" mixed use development is forecasted to generate 80,000 car trips daily. But developers are required to build 108,912 new parking spaces. That's equivalent to 1.3 parking spaces for each trip. If these spaces were laid out flat, they would take up a land area equivalent to nearly 70% of the entire footprint of the new development, or 2.2 times the size of the Jardim Botanico, the renowned botanical garden in Rio.

In Jakarta, Indonesia city officials attempted to revitalize the corridor along Jalan Sabang. In 2009 they removed street food vendors from the sidewalk to give pedestrians more space to walk. But instead the sidewalk became overrun with illegal parking where informal "valets" charge a fee, and the street is more congested than ever.

Yet there are many examples of cities that have tackled the issue of parking management and are reaping the benefits.

Through research and reports in the U.S. and Europe, ITDP has observed the following bright spots, which provide examples of better parking management that can inspire cities around the globe:

  • In Barcelona, net revenue generated from parking fees supports Bicing, the bike share program.
  • Amsterdam reduced traffic in their city center by 20% by implementing paid parking.
  • Munich phased in a more robust parking management program between 2001-2008, car use has decreased by 14% in the city during that time and cycling and walking has increased.
  • San Francisco's new SFPark program gives parkers more time to enjoy a movie without running out to feed the meter, thanks to the new SFPark program, and also reduces cruising for curbside parking by optimizing curbside parking rates so that at least one space on a block is free at any time.

For a list of locations where ITDP will participate in Park(ing) Day and more visit www.itdp.org.

About ITDP
Founded in 1985, the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy promotes socially equitable and environmentally sustainable transportation worldwide. ITDP works alongside city governments and local advocacy groups to create projects that reduce poverty and pollution, and fight climate change.

About Parking Day
PARK(ing) Day was created in 2005 by Rebar, a San Francisco-based art and design studio. It now takes place in over 180 cities in 30 countries on six continents. More information at www.parkingday.org.  

SOURCE Institute for Transportation and Development Policy



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