Transportation Demand Management Update


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PPD 619 Final Project - Anthony Guardado, Gary Byrne, Zhan Wang

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Transportation Demand Management Update

  1. 1. MemorandumTransportation Demand Management UpdateLos Angeles, CATo: Tanner BlackmanFrom: Gary Byrne, Anthony Guardado, and Zhan WangDate: 4/18/12RE: Revisions to the Transportation Demand Management OrdinanceExecutive SummaryAs part of their Congestion Management Plan (CMP), local jurisdictions must include aTransportation Demand Management (TDM) ordinance. This ordinance should be constructedsuch that it encourages a reduction in the use of single-occupancy vehicles and an increase in theuse of alternative modes of travel as opposed to the private automobile. The previous TDMordinance in the City of Los Angeles relied heavily upon the reduction of work trips through thesponsorship of carpools and vanpools. Within the last 20 years, the realities of alternativetransportation in Los Angeles have changed dramatically. The Metro Rail system has burgeonedfrom a single fledgling light rail line to the backbone of the transit network, while pedestrian andcycling advocates are making significant headway in the promotion of active transportationmodes. Meanwhile, carpool rates have shown decline in recent years.In order to address these changes, additional tools in Transportation Demand Management areneeded. To that end, this report introduces those tools through several revisions to the existingTDM ordinance. The dominance of single-occupancy vehicle travel has an Achilles’ heel: alarge surplus of free and easily accessible parking. Variable pricing and shared parking havebeen successfully used by other municipalities to reduce demand for parking while also reducingthe overall supply of parking required.The staff has reviewed and discussed the model ordinance with representatives of theDepartment of Transportation. The staff subsequently modified the proposed revisions to ensureclarity and consistency with existing City code provisions.ACTION RECOMMENDED BY THE STAFF – THAT THE COMMISSION ADOPT THISREPORT AND APPROVE THE REVISIONS PRESENTED HEREIN. Byrne, Guardado, Wang. Page 1
  2. 2. Staff ReportInitiationCommissioner Blackman has asked planning staff to review the Transportation DemandManagement Ordinance and analyze whether there exists a possibility for revision. An increasingmarginal societal cost in terms of congestion and air pollution has prompted this type of review.Transportation demand management centers upon reducing the demand of automobile use.Specifically, strategies that encourage modes other than single-occupancy automobiletransportation form the foundation of the management strategy.Background/IssuesThe parking system in Los Angeles currently encourages the cost of automobile use to be sharedunequally among all taxpayers. Those who might not use automobiles have been paying forparking through lower wages and higher rents. In addition, the on-street parking system isoverloaded as the current supply cannot sufficiently provide for the high level of demand.In updating the ordinance, we revisited the original intent for a Transportation DemandManagement Ordinance. The 1993 ordinance focused on creating design standards that wouldpromote Transportation Demand Management (TDM). The ordinance sought to do that in orderto reduce the overall number of automobile trips and also reduce the number of trips made by asingle driver.The original ordinance centered on a mix of education and employer provided incentives. Fornew commercial developments over 25,000 square feet, the ordinance stipulated a condition foremployee education on carpooling and vanpooling to be provided on informational boards withinthe workplace. These boards were meant to encourage workers to begin finding others to carpoolto work with. In addition, preferential parking close to the building was to be given to thosecarpooling to work.Although the intent of the original ordinance was well placed, the results have been minimal.Evidently, there has not been a significant shift in the number of workers carpooling due to thetwo conditions of the ordinance. No statistically significant evidence has tied this policy to thegoal envisioned when first passed, and from a qualitative analysis, the policy has created anunnecessary level of complexity in enforcement and compliance. As such, our analysis focuseson a shift from the original ordinance because it seems that minor changes augmenting thecurrent ordinance will have little to no significant effect on transportation demand in LosAngeles. Byrne, Guardado, Wang. Page 2
  3. 3. Analysis of Proposed OrdinanceVariable Pricing for On-street ParkingVariable pricing of on-street parking addresses the issue of a shortage of on-street spaces. Byleveraging a parking system that prices at market rate, it is expected to alleviate the currentproblem of parking space shortage.The primary motivation for variable pricing is to account for the changes in on-street parkingdemand, both by area and across different time periods throughout the day or day of the week(geographically based and time based). Focusing on these two dimensions of variability is key tounderstanding the effect of pricing. The geographic dimension addresses the imbalance ofdensity in urban and suburban areas and the time dimension addresses the flexible demand forparking during peak hours and off peak hours.Variable on-street parking price in different locations:Geographically variable pricing starts from the difference in parking demand, but it shall servemore purposes than simply neutralizing traffic congestion by market leverage. Higher pricedparking in a specific location will discourage people from parking their cars at these spots duringpeak-pricing periods, lowering the demand for the spot. The price factor is what people normallyconsider. However, adjusting parking price has another consequence that will affect people’spreferences for parking locations. For instance, the price of on-street parking near Civic Centerin Downtown Los Angeles is currently about $6 per hour during rush hour, while Metro Raillines charge $3 for a round trip. If the total expense for parking at a suburban Metro station andtaking the train to downtown is lower than parking in downtown, a certain proportion of parkingdemand in downtown shall shift to the suburban stations creating a modal shift in transportationdemand. However, the cost of parking in downtown must also be limited so that it does not oversuppress demand which could provide a disincentive for travelling to downtown and reduceparking meter revenues to the city. Additionally, because the private parking lots supply a largeamount of parking space, this strategy could encourage people to utilize private lots and leavesome on-street spaces available for more turnover. This allows for a single parking space toservice more people over the course of a day. To implement the plan, we recommend the following: 1. Raise the price of on-street parking price in urban centers where there are high demands for parking, while keeping the average price of on street parking at a steady level. Specifically, that means an increase in on-street parking prices at spots with the highest demand and lower prices at locations with less demand. 2. Adjust on-street parking rates at transit hubs in urban sub-centers and suburban areas. We recommend lowering the total expense of parking at transit hubs in order to encourage people to choose multiple transportation modes. Essentially, parking prices for park-and-ride parking lots located near transit should be kept low to minimize the cost of utilizing public transit. Byrne, Guardado, Wang. Page 3
  4. 4. Variable on-street parking price in different periods of time:Varying parking expenses across different times throughout the day mainly serves goal ofalleviating road congestion during peak hours. In peak hours, the price of parking at some spotswith high demand shall rise in order to keep some parking spots open for use (VTPI). Enforcingthis in Los Angeles is possible due to previous investment into on-street parking pricing systems.LADOT has already initiated a pilot project called ExpressPark. Combining demand-basedpricing principles and technology, the City’s newest parking meter-related program, theExpressPark Intelligent Parking Management Project, began in Downtown Los Angeles in thesummer of 2011. The one-year demonstration project was expected to achieve a number ofenvironmental and congestion reduction goals (LA DOT). ExpressPark proposes to guide driverstoward open parking spaces and display current parking rates. The rates in the project area willbe determined in real-time by the number of vehicles parked there, the time of day and drivers’length of stay (LA DOT).The project will allow more vacant spots because it prices at a rate where some spaces will bepriced too high to be filled. This will allow for less congestion and less air pollution byshortening or eliminating long searches for parking. The project should improve traffic flowwhile encouraging some drivers to switch to other modes of travel.Real-time monitoring of the parking allows for certain high-demand areas to have some parkingspots available while at the same time reducing the externalities associated with a price thatallows for higher demand than can be supplied.Currently, ExpressPark is only functional in downtown Los Angeles area. We are recommendingthat it be initiated citywide to help solve the issue of parking demand.There is a current challenge to ExpressPark and that is the abuse of disabled parking placards(Lopez). In a series of articles by LA Times journalist Steve Lopez, the abuse was uncovered.This presents a big challenge because those with disabled placards are allowed to park for freeand Lopez notes that there are an increasingly higher number of cars using disabled parkingprivileges. As the price for parking increases, the incentive to illegally use those placards for freeparking increases and the abuses will continue. This issue has gained the attention of the press,the LAPD, and parking enforcement officials and measures to discourage abuse are beginning.One idea might be to eliminate the current policy that allows those with a disability the right topark for free. That would be the most equitable solution. However, since that is State ofCalifornia policy, the political investment for such a change is very high. As such, werecommend that fines for illegally parking with a disabled person placard be increased as high asnecessary to reduce abuse. Increased fines and increased enforcement could provide thenecessary means to discourage those who are abusing the disability system and harming theavailability of parking in the city. Byrne, Guardado, Wang. Page 4
  5. 5. Shared ParkingShared parking is a method of increasing the efficiency of parking facilities. Essentially,different uses are likely to have peak parking demand at different times of the day. For example,while an office building may be busiest between 9 AM and 5 PM, a restaurant may be busiestbetween 5 PM and 8 PM, and a nightclub may be busiest between 10 PM and 1 AM. Byrequiring each business to produce independent parking facilities to meet their own peakdemand, you create redundancies during the non-peak hours. Allowing each of these businessesto share a parking lot results in a reduction in the overall number of parking spaces required(VTPI).This lowers development costs and reduces the overall amount of land set aside solely forparking. Shared parking encourages “clustered development” and as such it may result in anincrease in alternative modes of travel and/or “park once” behavior such that a driver no longerhas to re-park their car for each individual use (VTPI). The creation of one centralized facilityinstead of scattered smaller facilities improves traffic flow and reduces the number of accidentsby reducing the number of necessary curb cuts (Forinash, 6). However, it is also important tonote that the added convenience shared parking facilities provide may actually encourageautomobile travel (VTPI).Examples of effective shared parking include, but are not limited to, the following: - Park & Ride parking facilities (peak demand during work hours), sharing with adjacent restaurants (peak demand during the evening hours). - City-owned parking facility which meets the parking demand of numerous uses in a central business district. - Church parking lot (peak demand on Sunday) sharing with a parochial school (peak demand during the week).Implementation can be managed in a number of ways. A parking sharing brokerage agency canbe formed to investigate and match potential partners. A city can conduct a parking inventorystudy and encourage the use of the results to facilitate shared parking agreements among bothnew and existing developments. A city may also establish special parking districts wherein allparking is provided publicly and businesses lease the required parking directly from the city.Contrarily, a city may choose to do very little except streamline the process to better enable thosewho wish to engage in a shared parking agreement. Byrne, Guardado, Wang. Page 5
  6. 6. Public OutreachIn presenting these proposed revisions to the public, special considerations must be made interms of public outreach.First, the introduction of parking meters will, in some districts, prove controversial. This issuemust be proactively framed. It will be essential to highlight that the introduction of variablemeters will allow for the targeted 85% occupancy rate to occur (i.e. with the meters, you will nolonger have to cruise for parking). “Parking Meters ‘Free’ Up Spaces.” This angle will helpassuage public concerns. Similarly, business owners will require specialized outreach to remindthem that higher parking turnover is better for business. Instead of one parking space servingone to two people for an entire day, a variably priced meter can result in its use by a far largernumber.Secondly, for the shared parking agreement method to be effective, it must be widely promoted.Businesses and developers will not use a program if they know nothing about it. They’reknowledge and understanding of the new streamlined process is vital to the success of thisordinance.ConclusionThe proposed changes to the ordinance will provide greater clarity, consistency, and brevity andare in substantial conformance with the model circulated by the Los Angeles CountyTransportation Commission. They will also better enable the City to meet its changing needsthrough the provision of new tools in Transportation Demand Management.Adoption of the proposed changes will demonstrate the City’s commitment to the CongestionManagement Plan and further the goals of the City’s General Plan.FindingsGeneral Plan FindingsThe proposed ordinance is in conformance with the goals, purposes, objectives, and policies ofthe General Plan and its various elements (City of LA General Plan). Some examples of how theordinance is in support of the General Plan include: a. Goal A: “Adequate accessibility to work opportunities and essential services, and acceptable levels of mobility for all those who live, work, travel, or move goods in Los Angeles.” Byrne, Guardado, Wang. Page 6
  7. 7. b. Objective 2: “Mitigate the impacts of traffic growth, reduce congestion, and improve air quality by implementing a comprehensive program of multimodal strategies that encompasses physical and operational improvements as well as demand management.” c. Policy 2.24: “Implement shared-parking, peripheral parking, and parking-pricing strategies in high-employment areasThe variable pricing of on-street parking fulfills the above goal, objective, and policy. By pricingon-street parking at a rate that leaves 15% of parking spots available, it provides the necessaryaccessibility for people to reach their destination and have an easy to find and available parkingspot. Additionally, a variable pricing rate improves mobility as required in Goal A. It has beenshown to reduce the number of cars on city streets looking for parking, thus reducing thecongestion of streets by removing the total number of cars in street traffic.Variable pricing also reduces the total demand of parking. By pricing at a level closer to people’swillingness to pay, the strategy encourages other modes of transportation (transit, biking,carpooling) because the alternatives will cost less to the parking consumer and it fulfillsObjective 2. In addition, variable pricing reduces total vehicles miles traveled and thus reducestotal air pollution.The shared parking strategy ensures a high level of mobility by reducing the overall supply ofparking required and promoting “clustered development” with limited curb cuts. This results inboth less automobile accidents and more “park-once” behavior. This in turn reduces traffic andautomobile emissions, thus meeting Objective 2. Following Policy 2.24, this strategy also fulfillsanother element of the General Plan.Findings of Consistency with the Transportation Framework ElementThe consistency findings with the transportation framework element were found in the GeneralPlan Transportation Element, Chapter 7, Plans and Policies, P20, a. “Develop and implement a Parking Awareness/Promotion program to increase acceptance of parking management by the general public.” b. “Implement shared parking, peripheral parking, and parking pricing programs in major employment areas and mixed-use districts” c. “Improve and expand enforcement of on-street parking restrictions (e.g. time limits, tow away/no stopping, loading zones), especially where such restrictions provide an additional peak hour travel lane/bus lane or additional loading areas in industrial districts.”Following the General Plan Transportation Element, Chapter 7 Plans and Policies section P20part B, the ordinance is implementing a demand management system that encourages theefficient use of land and reduces to total supply of parking. A supply-side reduction through Byrne, Guardado, Wang. Page 7
  8. 8. shared parking indicates that new development will not internalize the cost of parkingregulations to all those who lease space within the development. Accompanying variable pricingfor parking, the ExpressPark system as well as a computer system to provide adequatemonitoring ensures proper adherence to the policy being set forth and conforms to part C of theabove Transportation Element. Byrne, Guardado, Wang. Page 8
  9. 9. Appendix A: Proposed Ordinance LanguageDefinitions:A Shared Parking Agreement is a legally binding contract between two or more land owners such thatone’s surplus of parking shall be used to meet the minimum parking requirement of another.The City shall make the following changes to the Transportation Demand Ordinance: 1. The City will continuously look for ways to improve access and mobility throughout the city with strategies that complement or improve the goals of the Transportation Demand Ordinance.The City shall create a citywide variable pricing strategy for on-street parking as follows: 1. The City shall price all on-street metered parking to achieve a target parking occupancy of 85% at all times. 2. The City shall implement the ExpressPark system. If the opportunity exists to retrofit the system with better technology to assist with the goals of this ordinance, the City shall do so. 3. The City shall implement heavy fines to abusers of disabled placards who park in on-street spaces without paying. 4. The City shall consider the implications of this strategy when determining any future land use changes.The City shall encourage the use of shared parking agreements through the following measures: 1. The City shall establish a formal application process to streamline shared parking approvals. 2. The City shall also establish an electronic database to track shared parking applications and approvals. This database will be used in conjunction with detailed parking inventories on the properties in question to prevent confusion and abuse (double-dipping). 3. The City shall also ensure the Zoning Code establishes appropriate parking reductions such that there is an incentive for developers to utilize shared parking agreements.Appendix B: Environmental ImpactsThe proposed changes to the Transportation Demand Management Ordinance will change the pricing,supply, and demand for parking in Los Angeles. As per State of California CEQA Guidelines, theordinance does not constitute a significant impact upon land use. Further, the ordinance is an action whichaims to protect the environment by adhering to the “vehicle miles traveled” requirements set forth in SB375. As stated in the report, our analysis proves that the proposal will assist in reducing traffic congestionand air pollution. Thus, the proposed ordinance is categorically exempt from further CEQA review. Byrne, Guardado, Wang. Page 9
  10. 10. Appendix C: Best PracticesShared Parking, San Diego, CAThe City of San Diego currently supports the use of shared parking agreements as one of a set oftools to “address parking and mobility problems comprehensively” and meet its goal of reducingthe overall amount of land devoted to parking while still providing adequate levels (City of SanDiego General Plan: Mobility Element). The city’s Development Services Department utilizes astandardized application form to enable efficient leasing of off-site parking to meet parkingrequirements on another nearby site. The agreement is in perpetuity and runs with the land,excepting the termination of the use requiring shared parking or the provision of adequate on-siteparking (San Diego Developer Services Dept).Shared Parking, Seattle, WAAs part of Seattle’s Transportation Demand Management program, its Municipal Code currentlyallows for shared parking agreements between two or more users to satisfy off-street parkingrequirements. “Shared parking is allowed between different categories of uses or between useswith different hours of operation, but not both.” Also, any use taking advantage of the sharedparking must be located within 800 feet of the parking in question. The Code establishes acomplex array of potential shares between varying uses and the burden is on the applicant toestablish no significant conflict between the standard operating hours of the uses which will besharing parking (SMC 23.54.020 G).Variable On-street Parking Pricing, San Francisco, CAIn September 2009, the San Francisco County Transportation Authority conducted a study on on-street parking management and pricing (SFCTA). For price-based regulations on on-streetparking, the study indicates two main strategies as follows: 1. Set on-street parking rates to achieve an availability target. This strategy is the same as ExpressPark in Los Angeles. The goal is to keep an occupancy level of 85% on street parking by real-time adjustments on meter rates. 2. Charge higher rates for successive time periods. This strategy is implemented by charging a higher hourly meter rate for each additional hour. The goal is to encourage short-term parking and increase turnover, this providing flexibility and convenience to users. This strategy shall be implemented in conjunction with relaxed time limits on on-street parking. Long-term parking shall be allowed but it charges more the longer the car is parked. Byrne, Guardado, Wang. Page 10
  11. 11. Variable On-street Parking Pricing, Ventura, CAThe City of Ventura introduced variable on-street parking rates, with prices set to achieve a 15%vacancy rate and sought to reinvest revenue from parking into the adjacent neighborhood. Themunicipal bylaw states, “All moneys collected from parking pay stations, and meters in this cityshall be placed in a special fund, which fund shall be devoted exclusively to purposes within thegeographic boundaries of the parking district from which the revenue is collected. Such moneysshall be used for the purposes stated in the parking district establishment ordinance” (VTPI,Parking Pricing).Variable On-street Parking Pricing, Glendale, CAIn 2007, Glendale adopted a comprehensive mobility strategy designed to help revitalize thedowntown core (VTPI). The plan focused on improving downtown customer parkingconvenience, limiting congestion from cruising for parking, and using the available parkingsupply more efficiently. Glendale now has an integrated on-street and off-street pricing systemthat efficiently prices the most convenient on-street spaces, and offers free short-term (90minute) parking in the surrounding garages (VTPI).While on-street parking spots in the commercial area had higher than 90% occupancy ratesduring peak periods, public garages were often only half full and virtually never totally full. Thisproblem resulted from a lack of market-rate pricing between on-street parking and garageparking (VTPI).“While the garages are not overly expensive, it is difficult to justify going into a garage to payfor something that seems to be given away for free…Market-priced on-street parking will savetime, reduce traffic, conserve energy, improve air quality and increase public revenue” (GlendaleMobility Study).Glendale chose to eliminate free parking on the main commercial streets of its downtown. Thecity utilized electronic, pay-per-space meters that could price according to the current demandfor parking. This allowed the city to monitor demand and adjusts rates to achieve 15% vacancyrates to allow a few spaces to be available throughout the downtown.Ending free parking in the downtown core required significant stakeholder involvement. Beforethe city began operation of the plan in December 2008, the city launched a public relationscampaign. At first, “parking ambassadors” provided help at the parking meters and for six weeksonly warning tickets were issued for first offenses; after a year Glendale experienced significantimprovement in downtown parking efficiency (VTPI). Prime parking spaces became availablenear businesses (the parking occupancy rate along Brand Boulevard that was previously above90% had been reduced to about 80%) and parking structures had increased occupancy (VTPI). Byrne, Guardado, Wang. Page 11
  12. 12. ReferencesCity of Los Angeles General Plan, Transportation Element. <>.Forinash, Christopher V., Adam Millard-Ball, and Charlotte Dougherty. "Smart Growth Alternatives to Minimum Parking Requirements." Proc. of 2nd Urban Streets Symposium (7/28-30/2003), Anaheim. < Volume%202/Forinash_session_7.pdf>.Glendale Mobility Study. <>Ibanez, Jose and Andrea Broaddus. “Parking in San Francisco”. Kennedy School of Government. 2007.“Los Angeles City Planning Department: Staff Report to the City Planning Commission” CP3 93-0101. March 11, 1993.Lopez, Steve. “L.A. program aims to make parking easier”. Los Angeles Times. 2010. <>.Lopez, Steve. “Cracking down on parking meter cheaters”. Los Angeles Times. 2012. <>Lopez, Steve. “It’s time for a crackdown on abusers of disabled placards”. Los Angeles Times. 2012. <>.Los Angeles Department of Transportation. Express Park. Francisco County Transportation Authority. <>.Victoria Transport Policy Institute. “TDM Encyclopedia: Shared Parking.” Transport Policy Institute. “Parking Pricing <>Forinash, Christopher V., Adam Millard-Ball, and Charlotte Dougherty. "Smart Growth Alternatives to Minimum Parking Requirements." Proc. of 2nd Urban Streets Symposium (7/28-30/2003), Anaheim. < Volume%202/Forinash_session_7.pdf>.City of San Diego General Plan: Mobility Element. “Parking Management (Sub-section H)” <>San Diego Development Services Department. “Shared Parking Agreement.” <> Byrne, Guardado, Wang. Page 12
  13. 13. Seattle Municipal Code 23.54.020. “Parking Quantity Exceptions (Sub-section G)” < brs.exe?s1=23.54.020&s2=&S3=&Sect4=AND&l=20&Sect3=PLURON&Sect5=COD E1&d=CODE&p=1&u=%2F~public%2Fcode1.htm&r=1&Sect6=HITOFF&f=G>Seattle Urban Mobility Plan. “Best Practices in TDM” < Practices%20in%20Transportation%20Demand%20Management.pdf>.Victoria Transport Policy Institute. “TDM Encyclopedia: Shared Parking.” <> Byrne, Guardado, Wang. Page 13