Best Practice Action Detail

Best Practice Action 14.1

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

Reduce or eliminate parking minimums: add parking maximums; develop district parking, install meters and charge for parking at curb and city-owned lots/ramps. 

  • New Approaches to Parking Management (2021) produced by a GreenStep Cities technical advisor. This 13-page guide details the many benefits of updating parking requirements, policies, and practices. It includes steps to evaluate and modernize existing code, best practice examples, and resource list.
  • 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, 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 one-page Parking Strategies for Comprehensive Plans (Metropolitan Council: 2017), which presents seven strategies and approaches, and lists parking reform resources.
  • Walkable Parking: How to Create Park-Once-and-Walk Districts provides a menu of market-based strategies to enable parking pools rather than trying to assure every on-site lot has 'enough' parking.
  • Donald Shoup, now retired from UCLA, authored the book: The High Cost of Free Parking (2005), a classic in the field of parking reform. He has also authored Parking and the City (2018) and numerous articles which have been published by Access magazine and Planning magazine. His data driven research showed the dubious statistics used in a key document on which many cities based their parking requirements. He promotes metered parking and the concept of parking benefit districts. His books and articles contain a wealth of data and examples. 
  • See an analysis of how parking requirements increase rental costs  in an article, The Hidden Cost of Bundled Parking, in the spring 2017 issue of Access magazine.
  • In 2013, Minneapolis reduced parking requirements to zero for residential projects near high-frequency transit with 50 or fewer units,  and projects with more than 50 units had requirements cut in half, to one parking space for every two units.
  • 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 the Parklet Manual (2017) 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) is 19%. And the most dramatic incentive for decreasing the footprint/visual impact of parking is to tax land at a higher rate than buildings.
  • Engage community members and build support for parking changes through a Black Friday photo event, document unused parking during the busiest shopping day of the year.
1 star Reduce parking stall dimensions; 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.
2 star Eliminate parking minimums; work with businesses to create a parking assessment district; price structured parking (lots, ramps), add dedicated EV charging spaces, mandate pay-per use (vs. monthly contracts); 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.
3 star 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, daily or seasonal basis; assess parking district revenue to create a parking benefit district that returns all/nearly all revenue to district improvements, such as parking lots/ramps, transit and streetscaping.

Who's doing it

Brainerd - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2012
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.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Mark Ostgarden (City staff) | mostgarden@ci.brainerd.mn.us | 218-828-2310
Partners:
Duluth - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2010
Implementation details:
Businesses located downtown and in Canal Park are not required to provide any off street parking. Businesses that are required by code to provide off street parking can have that number reduced if they are located close to transit hubs or can show that parking on nearby properties can handle additional traffic without issue.
Buildings are not allowed to build more than 150% of calculated parking minimums in an effort to cut down on excessive parking areas.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Adam Fulton (City staff) | afulton@hermantownmn.com | 218-729-3618
Partners:
Elko New Market - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
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.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Mark Nagel (City staff) | mnagel@ci.enm.mn.us | 952-461-2777
Partners:
Red Wing - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Red Wing Zoning Code waves parking requirements in the CBD and allows for shared parking in all other developments.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Paul Drotos (City staff) | paul.drotos@ci.red-wing.mn.us | 651-410-6744
Partners:
Burnsville - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
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".
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Sue Bast (City staff) | basts@ci.burnsville.mn.us | 952-895-4524
Partners:
Crystal - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
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.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Anne Norris (City staff) | Anne.Norris@crystalmn.gov | 763-531-1140
Partners:
Fridley - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
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.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Rachel Workin (City staff) | rachel.workin@fridleymn.gov | 763-572-3594
Partners:
Hastings - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
We currently have maximum parking standards applicable to all zoning districts.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Hinzman (City staff) | jhinzman@hastingsmn.gov | 651-480-2378
Partners:
New Hope - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
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.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Jeff Alger (City staff) | jalger@ci.new-hope.mn.us | 763-531-5119
Partners:
Newport - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
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.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Partners:
Richfield - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The development standards in the City's Zoning Code (Section 544.13, Subd. 7) detail parking maximums.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Melissa Poehlman (City staff) | MPoehlman@richfieldmn.gov | 6128619766
Partners:
Rochester - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
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.
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" 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.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Jeff Ellerbusch (City staff) | ellerbusch.jeff@CO.OLMSTED.MN.US | 507-328-7132
Partners:
Roseville - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The city code specifies parking area maximums in Chapter 1019.06
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Ryan Johnson (City staff) | Ryan.johnson@cityofroseville.com | 651-792-7049
Partners:
Victoria - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Paul Moretto (City staff) | pmoretto@ci.victoria.mn.us | 952-443-4210
Partners:
Woodbury - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
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).
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Mark Huonder (City staff) | mhuonder@ci.woodbury.mn.us | 651-714-3535
Partners: