Although there exists a well-studied relationship between parking policies and automobile demand, conventional practices evaluating the transportation impacts of new land development tend to ignore this. In this paper, we: (a) explore literature linking parking policies and vehicle use (including vehicle trip generation, vehicle miles traveled [VMT], and trip length) through the lens of development-level evaluations (e.g., transportation impact analyses [TIA]); (b) develop a conceptual map linking development-level parking characteristics and vehicle use outcomes based on previously supported theory and frameworks; and (c) evaluate and discuss the conventional approach to identify the steps needed to operationalize this link, specifically for residential development. Our findings indicate a significant and noteworthy dearth of studies incorporating parking constraints into travel behavior studies—including, but not limited to: parking supply, costs or pricing, and travel demand management strategies such as the impacts of (un)bundled parking in housing costs. Disregarding parking in TIAs ignores a significant indicator in automobile use. Further, unconstrained parking may encourage increases in car ownership, vehicle trips, and VMT in areas with robust alternative-mode networks and accessibility, thus creating greater demand for vehicle travel than would otherwise occur. The conceptual map offers a means for operationalizing the links between: the built environment; socio-economic and demographic characteristics; fixed and variable travel costs; and vehicle use. Implications for practice and future research are explored.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Civil and Structural Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering