How Do Cities Determine Parking Rates?


Quick Answer

The parking satisfaction standard that city officials use to determine parking rates is the point at which the benefits of parking outweigh the negative consequences, including parking price. Key factors influencing elected officials’ decisions include parking demand, traffic, affordability, safety, walking distances and economic issues, notes Municipal Research and Services Center.

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Full Answer

Local jurisdictions provide minimum parking rate requirements for cities. City officials consider market-driven factors when implementing parking rates, some of which include land use development regulations, city economic development and environmental goals. They judge how parking affordability aligns with the city’s needs and goals, explains MRSC.

After a new parking facility is constructed, a city may implement parking prices to recoup the costs of the facility. Other aspects influence parking rates, such as public transportation projects and transportation programs. Parking rates change with the factors affecting them, particularly the increase or decrease of parking demand. Deciding on reasonable parking rates is more a judgment of value than a technical decision, due to influences that vary by city, such as population density, travel alternatives, trip rates and parking duration, according to MRSC. City planners often initially determine parking rates while determining the amount of parking and where to place it.

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