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GreenStep City Best Practices Transportation

Demand-Side Travel Planning
no. 14

Implement Travel Demand Management and Transit-Oriented Design in service of a more walkable city.
  Best Practice Action 1      [ 1 2 3 4 5 ]       [all actions]

Reduce or eliminate parking minimums and/or add parking maximums.

  • See "Fix Parking Requirements" in Essential Smart Growth Fixes For Urban And Suburban Zoning Codes (U.S. EPA: 2009) and guidelines for reducing parking requirements (Victoria Transport Policy Institute: 2017) based upon factors including land use mix, residential and employment density, demographics (income, housing tenure, owners/renters) walk/bike facilities, parking management strategies. See also the brief Parking Strategies for Comprehensive Plans (Metropolitan Council: 2017) article, which presents seven parking strategies and approaches.
  • Walkable Parking: How to Create Park-Once-and-Walk Districts provides a menu of market-based strategies to enable ‘parking pools’ rather than tring to assure every on-site lot has 'enough' parking spaces.
  • Donald Shoup's classic 2005 paper Parking, People, and Cities looks at how off-street parking requirements affect urban form, by creating non-places that spread out places (destinations) and force more driving. Shoup argues that, in contrast to streets (few of which are added in built-out cities), new off-street parking is supplied continually, owing largely to new development that per zoning must supply a minimum number of parking spaces. But the increasing supply of off-street parking makes traffic congestion worse and creates more non-places that inhibit street life. Hence Shoup's 3 key recommendations from his 800-page book The High Cost of Free Parking: (1) charge the right price for curb parking so there are always 1-2 open spaces on every block, (2) spend that revenue to pay for added public services on the metered blocks, and (3) remove off-street parking requirements.
  • Consider a maximum parking ratio for retail/shopping areas larger than 10,000 sq. ft. of floor space of 3.3 parking spaces per 1000 sq. ft. of gross floor area, and a maximum parking ratio for office buildings of 2.5 parking spaces per 1000 sq. ft. of gross floor area. Transit-oriented development can reduce demand to under 1.5 parking spots per 1000 sq. ft. Standard parking stall dimensions should be in the range of 8.5' x 18' with 22' maximum aisle and driveway widths, including at least one shade tree for every 10 stalls.
  • See an analysis of how parking requirements raise rental rates and the 2014 Planetizen article Unbundling Parking Costs to Keep Families in Cities. Responding to these issues, Minneapolis in 2013 reduced parking requirements, for residential projects near high-frequency transit with 50 or fewer units, to zero, and projects with more than 50 units had requirements cut in half, to one parking space for every two units. Also consider the anticipated decreased need for parking in the next 10-30 years due to introduction and use of shared autonomous vehicles (SAVs).
  • Consider fine-tuning/softening the availability of street parking by selectively converting parking spaces (on a pilot basis, seasonally or permanently) into parklets and outdoor (retail) seating. See A Toolkit for Creating and Implementing Parklets (2012) and a 2011 Park(ing) Day Manual.
  • The well-researched guidebook to building sustainable, timeless communities - A Pattern Language - argues that the optimal portion of land allocated for transportation (in small to medium cities) be 19%. And the most dramatic incentive for decreasing the footprint/visual impact of parking is to tax land at a higher rate than buildings.
  • Engaging community members in a Black Friday photo campaign to document just how much parking space goes unused during the busiest shopping day of the year may help a city recalibrate it's parking minimums and maximums.
Include parking maximums in development standards for at least pedestrian-friendly or transit-served areas; waive minimums for new or renovated developments; facilitate/allow/report parking lots sized below zoning minimums (used by multiple properties; shared lot use agreements among private parties); provide free/discounted parking for EVs. Report PV parking lot canopies under BP 26.
Eliminate parking minimums; work with businesses to create a parking assessment district; sponsor a Black Friday parking lot assessment contest; increase taxes on parking lots; selectively convert parking spaces (on a pilot basis, seasonally or permanently) into "parklets" and outdoor (retail) seating; experiment with a 1-day car-free street.
Bring an online parking space sharing service to your city; work with at least one housing developer to unbundle parking space rental/purchase from housing rental/purchase; allow/require a housing development to have fewer off-street parking slots in exchange for dedicated car-share spaces, discounted bus passes or car/bike share services; set performance parking policies/targets/pricing (to achieve 80% +/- 5% parking occupancy rate, or 1-2 open spaces per block face); use technology to adjust parking rates on an hourly, dayly or seasonal basis; assess parking district revenue to create a parking benefit district that returns all/nearly all revenue to district improvements, such as transit and streetscaping.


Date action report first entered:   12/05/2016
Date of last report update:   12/05/2016
Year action initially completed:   2012
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   No

Implementation details:
The city does not require off-street parking in the downtown area, and we eliminated minimum requirements in 3 commercial zoning districts and 2 industrial districts.

For more information contact:
Mark Ostgarden (City staff)   |   mostgarden@ci.brainerd.mn.us   |   218-828-2310

View All Brainerd Actions

Elko New Market

Date action report first entered:   01/15/2016
Date of last report update:   01/22/2016

Implementation details:
There are no parking requirements or minimums in the city of Elko New Market. Additionally, the parking lot for the new Water Treatment facility is made of a permeable surface material, thus eliminating the majority of storm water drainage.

Descriptive links: http://www.ci.enm.mn.us

For more information contact:
Mark Nagel (City staff)   |   mnagel@ci.enm.mn.us   |   952-461-2777

View All Elko New Market Actions

Red Wing

Date action report first entered:   01/30/2013

Implementation details:
Red Wing Zoning Code waves parking requirements in the CBD and allows for shared parking in all other developments.

For more information contact:
Paul Drotos (City staff)   |   paul.drotos@ci.red-wing.mn.us   |   651-410-6744

View All Red Wing Actions


Date action report first entered:   06/25/2012

Implementation details:
Burnsville completed a parking study in 2006, and subsequently created maximum parking standards for shopping centers and offices. Shopping Centers that are less than 50,000 sq. ft. must have a minimum of 5.5 spaces and a maximum of 6 spaces per 1,000 sq. ft. For shopping centers that are between 50,000 sq. ft and 100,000 sq. ft, the parking minimum is 4 spaces and the maximum is 4.5 spaces per 1,000 sq. ft. For shopping centers that are greater than 100,001 square feet, the parking minimum is 4.5 spaces and the maximum is 5 spaces per 1,000 sq. ft. OFFICES that are 6,000 sq. ft. or less must have a minimum of 5 spaces and a maximum of 5.5 spaces per 1,000 square feet. Offices that are 6,000 sq. ft. or larger must have a minimum of 3.5 spaces and a maximum of 4 spaces per 1,000 sq. ft. Burnsville encourages developers to pursue "proof of parking".

For more information contact:
Sue Bast (City staff)   |   basts@ci.burnsville.mn.us   |   952-895-4524

View All Burnsville Actions


Date action report first entered:   01/03/2015
Date of last report update:   01/12/2015

Implementation details:
Section 515.17 of the Zoning Ordinance requires parking areas and Section 515.17, Subd.4 allows for shared parking between uses and sites, provided certain conditions are met.

Descriptive links: http://www.crystalmn.gov/docs/Crystal_Zoning_Code_recodfied_2012_10_22_2013__2_.pdf

For more information contact:
Anne Norris (City staff)   |   Anne.Norris@crystalmn.gov   |   763-531-1140

View All Crystal Actions


Date action report first entered:   12/08/2017
Date of last report update:   12/08/2017
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   No

Implementation details:
The City of Fridley decreased the required parking stall width from 10 feet to 9 feet within the multiple dwelling, industrial, manufacturing land uses The City of Fridley also allows for a reduction in the number of required parking stalls/sharing of parking stalls between private properties when a landowner can demonstrate that the required number of parking stalls is not needed and that adequate open space is provided to satisfy the total number of required parking stalls.

Descriptive links: http://www.ci.fridley.mn.us/DocumentCenter/Home/View/480

For more information contact:
Rachel Workin (City staff)   |   rachel.workin@fridleymn.gov   |   763-572-3594

View All Fridley Actions


Date action report first entered:   04/27/2016
Date of last report update:   04/27/2016

Implementation details:
We currently have maximum parking standards applicable to all zoning districts.

For more information contact:
John Hinzman (City staff)   |   jhinzman@hastingsmn.gov   |   651-480-2378

View All Hastings Actions

New Hope

Date action report first entered:   03/13/2018
Date of last report update:   03/13/2018
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   No

Implementation details:
The city's City Center (CC) zoning district defines a maximum parking ratio depending on the type of land use. A reduction down to the minimum parking ratio may be applied under the following circumstances: -Principle use is located within 800 feet of a parking facility with public spaces available to the general public or within 800 feet of a public transit park and ride facility with an approved joint-use agreement. -Shared parking areas between abutting uses. -Payment in lieu of parking provided for use of existing municipal parking stall. -A reduction in the required number of parking stalls may also be permitted if evidence is provided demonstrating that the parking requirements of the proposed use will be less than the number of parking stalls required above during the peak demand period, based on factors such as number of employees, type of use, projected volume of customer traffic, etc. Parking maximums may be exceeded under the following circumstances: -Structured above-ground or under-ground parking is provided on site. -Shared parking agreement is executed. -All parking spaces are located behind the building and are not visible from the public right-of-way. -Driveways and access points are shared by at least two adjacent properties. -Combining or interconnecting adjacent parking lots and pedestrian access points.

Descriptive links: https://library.municode.com/mn/new_hope/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=CD_ORD_CH4ZO_S4-17CCCEDI

For more information contact:
Jeff Alger (City staff)   |   jalger@ci.new-hope.mn.us   |   763-531-5119

View All New Hope Actions


Date action report first entered:   07/19/2012
Date of last report update:   02/14/2017
Year action initially completed:   2012

Implementation details:
The City Council approved an ordinance amendment to add regulations for the MX-3 Transit Oriented District. The MX-3 District has both parking minimums and parking maximums. Additionally, the ordinance promotes shared parking in this district.

View All Newport Actions


Date action report first entered:   02/19/2016
Date of last report update:   02/19/2019
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   No

Implementation details:
The development standards in the City's Zoning Code (Section 544.13, Subd. 7) detail parking maximums.

For more information contact:
Melissa Poehlman (City staff)   |   MPoehlman@richfieldmn.gov   |   6128619766

View All Richfield Actions


Date action report first entered:   06/09/2011

Implementation details:
These guidelines are intended to help create a safe and comfortable environment for pedestrians, vehicles and multiple transit modes. They presume that Urban Village mixed use development efforts have achieved a successful critical mass. Therefore they are designed to be applicable to the future desired conditions of mixed use, density, and street-level activities. Until that future condition is in place, some exceptions to these guidelines may be approved for projects developed early in the evolution of the Urban Village. Recommendations: General " The off-street parking requirements contained in the Citys existing zoning ordinances should be reduced in the Urban Village to reflect its proximity to the Citys major employment center, existing public parking, and mass transit. " Zoning code requirements for parking should identify the maximum parking allowed. " Additional reductions in off-street parking requirements will be considered when options such as sheltered bicycle parking, participation in car share programs, and other programs, reduce the need for private automobiles. " Where uses have different peak parking demands, shared parking agreements should be facilitated. " Consideration should be given to exempting small retail establishments from parking requirements. 8/4/2009 13 " Enclosed parking is encouraged. Parking lots are discouraged, but permitted when they adhere to design guidelines. " Parking costs should be unbundled from residence purchase costs, rental rates, and employee benefits. " Payments in lieu of providing required parking should be considered, as well as land banking to satisfy potential future needs. " Central off-street parking may be needed in selected locations within the Urban Village. On-Street Parking " On-street parking may be considered when calculating parking requirements. " Meter limits should be set to encourage turnover adjacent to retail establishments. " Use angled parking wherever possible to maximize number of spaces.

Descriptive links: http://www.rochestermn.gov/departments/mayor/boards/cude/documents/PDF/August%202009%20agenda%20and%20attachment.pdf

For more information contact:
Jeff Ellerbusch (City staff)   |   ellerbusch.jeff@CO.OLMSTED.MN.US   |   507-328-7132

View All Rochester Actions


Date action report first entered:   12/30/2014
Date of last report update:   02/11/2015

Implementation details:
The city code specifies parking area maximums in Chapter 1019.06

For more information contact:
Ryan Johnson (City staff)   |   Ryan.johnson@cityofroseville.com   |   651-792-7049

View All Roseville Actions


Date action report first entered:   12/06/2013
Date of last report update:   04/30/2015

Implementation details:

Descriptive links: http://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientId=19963

For more information contact:
Paul Moretto (City staff)   |   pmoretto@ci.victoria.mn.us   |   952-443-4210

View All Victoria Actions


Date action report first entered:   04/27/2013

Implementation details:
The City does allow for “proof of parking” on development applications to allow for a reduced number of required parking spaces. “At the discretion of the city, specific parking spaces may be shown as ‘demonstrated’ wherein the property or project can be shown to accommodate the minimum required parking spaces but is deemed to be excessive for the current user of the property” (City Code - Section 24-242).

For more information contact:
Mark Huonder (City staff)   |   mhuonder@ci.woodbury.mn.us   |   651-714-3535

View All Woodbury Actions

pending means a star rating has not yet been assigned to this city

greenstep advisor
Jessica Treat, Executive Director, Move Minnesota: 651-789-1405, JessicaT@movemn.org, http://www.movemn.org