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An aerial shot of train tracks, streets intersecting, and on-street parking that is about half full.

Parking Strategies for TOD

Municipalities should consider reducing and revising parking in their transit-served areas. Doing so can open up additional land for better land use and make it easier to walk, bike and use transit by reducing the need and desire to drive. Below are four common parking strategies to consider.

Parking strategies for transit-oriented development

A Metra train at a station with a half-full parking lot and pedestrians exiting the train.

Off Street Parking

Off-street parking is frequently overbuilt and underutilized, which is cause for municipalities to right-size parking requirements in transit areas. This additional expense for an unused resource discourages development and infill opportunities. 

Some municipalities remove parking minimums altogether from zoning requirements and allow the developer and the market to determine what is an acceptable minimum amount of parking. Other municipalities implement parking maximums, placing a limit on how many parking spaces can be included as a part of redevelopment or new development in TOD areas.

RTA Partners with Evanston to Revise Parking Needs

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(Image courtesy of Downtown Evanston, 501(c)(6))

Studying usage in their downtown, Evanston found that their TOD area required building 1.25 to 2 parking spaces per unit when peak parking demand was only 1 parking space per unit.

Evanston’s research helped the city revise its parking regulations to better reflect usage, making TOD construction easier and more affordable as seen in our storymap.

Parking Exemptions and Credits
Shared Parking
Parking management
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