The concept of parking management



This chapter attempts to cover the main literature related to the topic of research. The first section gives the concept of parking management in general and kerbside parking management in particular. The latter sections give an overview of kerbside parking management strategies with regard to different parameters such as geometry, pricing, timing, technology, etc. The overall purpose of this chapter is to serve as a basic material for adapting the appropriate management strategies for the case study area.

Parking Management

Parking management pertains to such policies and strategies that lead to more optimum and efficient use of parking facilities. It generally includes a number of strategies that vary from case-to-case. The effective parking management provides numerous social, physical, and environmental benefits to all classes of society. (TDM Encyclopedia, 2008) (See Figure 3.1 for Parking Management Principles).

Similarly, kerbside parking management refers to such policies and programs that particularly address different nature of kerbside parking problems, and helps in providing the solution to each problem.

Kerbside parking management strategies can be classified on the basis of different parameters such as:

  • Geometry
  • Timing
  • Pricing
  • Technology
  • Miscellaneous

The detail of each parameter is described below:


Considering geometry as significant parameter, the kerbside parking is adjusted physically on the ground in terms of different forms such as angle, dimensions, position, etc. This parameter provides a prognosis of each type of kerbside parking by highlighting the pros and cons of each arrangement. The detail is described below:

  • 0 Degree Kerbside Parking
  • 30 Degree Kerbside Parking
  • 45 Degree Kerbside Parking
  • 60 Degree Kerbside Parking
  • 90 Degree Kerbside Parking

0 Degree Kerbside Parking

  • 0 degree kerbside parking is also called 'parallel parking'. Your Dictionary (2009) defines parallel kerbside parking as:
  • "A type of city-street parking in which a vehicle is parked close to and parallel to the curb, typically between two other similarly parked vehicles." Wikipedia Encyclopedia (2009) also defines parallel parking as:

    "Parallel parking is a method of parking a vehicle in line with other parked cars. Cars parked in parallel are in one line, parallel to the curb, with the front bumper of each car facing the back bumper of the adjacent one."

    It is the safest method of kerbside parking so far as number of accidents is concerned since no backward movement is involved. As vehicles are parked length-wise parallel to the kerb, therefore, it causes less hindrance in smooth flow of traffic as compared to other geometrical parking arrangements. Two disadvantages are associated with this arrangement. First, it utilizes the maximum kerb length. (Indian Institute of Technology, 2007). Second, parallel parking mainly depends upon the skills of the driver. Due to this reason, most of the unskilled drivers do not feel convenience while parking their vehicles in this arrangement. (Wikipedia Encyclopedia, 2009). The graphical representation of parallel parking is shown in Figure 3.2.

    In order to calculate the length of kerb 'L' using 'N' number of vehicles, following formula is used (Indian Institute of Technology, 2007):

    0 Degree Kerbside Parking

    In this system of parking, vehicles are parked in such a way that they make an angle of 30 degree with the kerb as shown in figure 3.3. 30 degree configuration has three major advantages. First, it can accommodate more vehicles in an available kerb space as compared to parallel kerbside parking. Second, maneuvering is very easy for the vehicles. Third, delay faced by moving traffic is also minimum (Indian Institute of Technology, 2007).

    In order to calculate length of kerb 'L' using 'N' number of vehicles, following formula is used(Indian Institute of Technology, 2007):

    45 Degree Kerbside Parking

    An arrangement of kerbside parking in which vehicles are parked in a manner that they subtend an angle of 45 degree with the kerb as shown in figure 3.4. It is usually proposed on one-way streets, roads, etc having width between 38 to 40 feet. As compared to parallel kerbside parking, 45 degree parking can generate 60% more parking spaces under ideal conditions (Department of Transportation, 2009).

    In order to calculate length of kerb 'L' using 'N' number of vehicles, following formula is used (Indian Institute of Technology, 2007):

    60 Degree Kerbside Parking

    Similar to other geometrical arrangements, 60 degree kerbside parking subtends an angle of 60 degree measuring from the length of the kerb as shown in figure 3.5. So far as parking accommodation is concerned, this parking arrangement increases the number of parking spaces two times as that of parallel parking under ideal conditions (Department of Transportation, 2009).

    In order to calculate length of kerb 'L' using 'N' number of vehicles, following formula is used (Indian Institute of Technology, 2007):

    90 Degree Kerbside Parking

    Also called right-angle kerbside parking or perpendicular kerbside parking. As the name suggests, 90 degree parking refers to an arrangement in which vehicles are parked in such a way that they make an angle of 90 degree with the kerb or are parked perpendicular to the direction of flow of traffic as shown in figure 3.6. This arrangement may cause various accidents as vehicles face complex maneuvering while entering and exiting from kerb space. The perpendicularly parked vehicles usually cause maximum disturbance in the smooth flow of traffic. Such hindrance may aggravate further if the road width is very less. As less space is consumed by each vehicle therefore, it easily accommodates maximum number of vehicles in a particular kerb length (Department of Transportation, 2009).

    In order to calculate length of kerb 'L' using 'N' number of vehicles, following formula is used (Indian Institute of Technology, 2007):


    It simply refers to the amount of time one parks in an available kerb space. There is no hard and fast rule to manage parking timings. However, the parking timing strategy can be understood by citing a very useful example. Suppose, a downtown area of a city has a coffee shop, a sandwich shop and a day spa as illustrated in figure 3.7. The timings of staying at various uses vary from use to use. For instance, in case of coffee shop , a customer will stay for about 15 minutes while the sandwich shops' customer will stay for maximum of an hour and, and day spa customer would stay for a maximum of two hours (Dan, 2005).

    Now a question may be raised, what should be the time limit for this theoretical block? Before providing answer, it is necessary to have a deep look into the situation under discussion. There might be different approaches. Suppose maximum time limit (say 2 hours) is imposed which can target every customer for kerbside parking. But on the other hand, if shorter time limit (say 1 hour) is enforced, it may eliminate some customers of day spa and they will be forced to buy ticket again and again upto the time limit they wish to remain parked (Dan, 2005).

    Before fixing the time limits particularly in downtown areas, two things must be kept in mind. First, the downtown areas always have a wide range of business activities with irregular changes. Second, every parker wish to park in kerbside parking spaces as these are highly desirable and fixed in number. These two items lead to the fact that a parking space is suppose to cater to all the requirements of the uses. For better understanding, the situation may be split with regard to various peak hours. For instance, in the early morning, coffee shop will be occupying all the parking spaces of the block but will become mellow during afternoon (lunch time). Likewise, sandwich shop will be occupying every space of block in the afternoon (lunch time) . The day spa will be occupying the spaces when both coffee and sandwich shops will not active (i.e. in the evening & night times). Because of shorter time limit, the empty spaces cannot be used by their customers (Dan, 2005).

    It is very important to mention here that the imposing time limits alone cannot work without proper labor intensive enforcement. The concerned enforcement officer will have to mark each tire with a chalk. He will have to visit the block again and again for effective monitoring to check the time limit of each space (whether 15 minutes, 1 hour or 2 hours). The frequency of monitoring depends upon the time limits. If the time limits are very short, concerned enforcement officer will have to check the space frequently and vice versa. He may start overseeing the spaces if varying time limits are involved (Dan, 2005).

    The employees may work out something to avoid the ticket by erasing the chalk in the absence of enforcement officer or employees may depute their co-workers for this task. To prevent this behavior, some cities have divided the downtown into sub-zones with strict restrictions that one must leave the zone before the expiry of the time limit or purchase ticket (Dan, 2005).

    In such downtown where appropriate market prices are not instituted, effective aggressive enforcement is the only way that can produce some positive results. If enforcement is ineffective, people may easily work out some means to violate the time limits. Such violations are usually figured out by the employees who have the benefit of being in downtown all the day. Aggressive enforcement means that "tickets are issued immediately upon the expiration of time limit with no grace period, and enough officers are on duty to ensure that violations are cited at all times. But effective enforcement leads to customers getting tickets too." (Dan, 2005).

    The parking turnover can only be increased by instituting market-rate pricing. Such prices can create available spaces. Suppose, market rate prices are instituted and adequate spaces are available, then why time limits be imposed? (Dan, 2005).


    Shoup (2009) suggests that there are two policies, in terms of pricing, through which curb parking can be managed in terms of pricing. These include:

    • Charging performance based pricing; and
    • Local Revenue Returns.

    Performance Parking Pricing

    Shoup (2009) defines performance based parking pricing as the pricing whereby balance can be achieved with a fixed supply of curbside parking spaces. This is also known as "Goldilocks Principle" - price is too high if so many spaces are lying vacant, and price is too low if no space is available.

    The performance-based pricing refers to such pricing through which an occupancy rate of 85% can be achieved. It has three major benefits. First, curbside parking can be utilized in an efficient way since the spaces will be easily available for people to park their cars. Second, the transportation system can operate easily. Moreover, cruising for parking space will not take long time which ultimately results in less emission and wastage of fuel. Third, the economy can work more efficiently. The price of parking should be kept higher where the demand is high and on the other hand, the price of parking should be kept low where the demand is low. The demand based high parking price will produce more revenue. (Shoup, 2009).

    By 85% occupancy rate, it is meant that 1 out of every 8 parking spaces is vacant regardless of peak and off-peak hours. Adopting it as a management strategy, people feel convenience whenever they wish to park their vehicles. Such performance based parking is not possible through imposing time limits but only through the use of appropriate pricing strategy. To state it differently, it can be said that rates of kerbside parking, being the most desirable spaces, rates are kept high especially along very busy roads, slightly less in side streets/roads whereas, and are kept low in case of off-street parking. In case, parking occupancy of some area is more than 85% meaning that area is congested and price must be increased. Likewise, if the same block has occupancy less than the average (i.e. 85%) meaning that area in underutilized and the price must be decreased (Zack, 2005).

    Local Revenue Returns

    The performance based parking pricing can generate ample public revenue. If revenue is utilized as added public spending on the street, citizens will not feel any hesitation in spending it. The aggregate revenue should be used in cleaning and maintaining of sidewalks, landscaping, lighting improvements, removal of writing on walls, and provision of other public requirements. (Shoup, 2009). A major percentage of revenue collected from kerbside parking must be utilized on the same area from where it is collected (Shoup, 2008). If such proposal is implemented and revenue comes back in the same geographic location, no one will say "no" while paying the amount of kerbside parking.

    Parking Increment Finance

    Parking increment finance is similar to tax increment finance. Such type of increment finance causes increase in values of the properties in the redevelopment districts. Likewise, the commercial areas can receive the increment in the revenue collected from parking meter as a result of performance parking pricing (Shoup, 2009).


    Yoshi (2009) has developed a very useful interactive website to demonstrate the importance of setting the price of kerbside parking and its relationship with various variables such as parking occupancy rate, cruising time, parking duration, turnover rate, carbon-dioxide emission, etc. In order to understand it better, the overall situation can be divided into three (3) specific cases on the basis of two extremes i.e. minimum and maximum price of kerbside parking:

    • Case-1 : Normal-price situation;
    • Case-2 : High-price situation; and
    • Case-3 : Low-price situation.

    Case-1: Normal Situation

    Case-2: High-price Situation

    This situation may be called as Donald Shoup's Right Price Situation. By using the slider, the price of parking is kept at a maximum of $1.50 / hour. The overall data is presented through figure 3.10. It can be observed that increasing the price of kerbside parking has changed the situation drastically as:

    • Parking Occupancy has decreased (which is close to figure 85%)
    • Duration is reduced to 53 min (from 60 min)
    • Parking turnover is increased as 1.13 cars (from 1 car/hour)
    • The revenue has increased up to 34%

    Case-3: Low-price Situation

    As indicated in figure 3.11, the price of kerbside parking is kept as low as $0.50/hr by using the slider. It is evident that reduction in price has caused some serious problems in the shape of increased cruising time, emission rate, parking duration and wastage of fuel. However, there is zero variation in parking occupancy rate. In comparison with case-2, the total gain from kerbside parking has also decreased significantly (only $50/hr).

    Wikipedia encyclopedia (2009b) defines:

    "material objects of use to humanity, such as machines, hardware or utensils, but can also encompass broader themes, including systems, methods of organization, and techniques"

    In the context of kerbside parking, it refers to machinery or human beings used for the effective management and enforcement of related policy (if developed). Various technologies are being utilized around the world for this purpose including parking meter, pay-and-display meter, pay-by-space, pay-by-cell phone, pay-by-satellite, occupancy sensors, etc. The detail of each is given as follows:

    Parking Meter

    Parking meter can be defined by Wikipedia encyclopedia (2009c) as:

    "A device used to collect money in exchange for the right to park a vehicle in a particular place for a limited amount of time. Parking meters can be used by municipalities as a tool for enforcing their integrated on-street parking policy, usually related to their traffic and mobility management policies"

    Flaherty (1997) discusses that parking meters do start functioning immediately after the insertion of a coin. He further adds that main purpose of the parking meter is to allow kerbside parking either for fixed or varying duration of time up to a maximum prescribed time limit. If a vehicle uses the parking space up to the set time period, no violation signal will be displayed. However, on the other hand, if a vehicle remains occupied for more than the set time period, a violation signal will appear on the meter automatically.

    In-Vehicle Meter

    Roth (2004) defines in-vehicle meter as a small computer containing a digital clock, a slot for pre-paid parking cards and buttons to enter the proper code.

    These meters cannot be used without a smart card. Similar to mobile phone or cell phone parking, different numbers are allocated to different parking zones. Once a car enters upon a priced kerb space, the driver has to punch in all the codes assigned to different parking zones to be followed by the insertion of smart card to activate the meter. So, immediately after the activation, he/she places the meter inside the windshield to demonstrate the parking status. The charges for the time period he remains parked at a kerb space are usually deducted from the pre-paid account of the driver until he/she turns off the meter. This technology is being used in Europe and America (Shoup, Buying Time at the Curb).

    In-vehicle meter has number of advantages:

    • street furniture is not required to be provided since it is installed inside the vehicle (Roth, 2004)
    • It further contributes to improving beautification of the area (Roth, 2004)
    • it is flexible option as rates can be changed and varied accordingly (Roth, 2004)
    • It is inexpensive as compared to a meter (Shoup, Buying Time at the Curb).

    Pay-and-Display Meter

    Pay-and-Display Parking meter can be defined by Wikipedia Encyclopedia (2009d) as:

    "Pay and display machines are a subset of ticket machines used for regulating parking in urban areas or in car parks. It relies on a customer purchasing a ticket from a machine and displaying the ticket on the dashboard, or windscreen or passenger window of the vehicle. Details included on a printed ticket are generally the location and operator of the machine, expiry time, fee paid and time entered."

    This meter works differently in comparison with pay-by-space meter. In pay-and-display meter, after parking, the parkers pays for the desired length of time during which he remained his vehicle parked in a kerb space (Zack, 2005).

    The pay-and-display machines can be operated with coins and credit cards so that drivers are not bound to keep large amount in their pockets all the time. Since credit cards are used for payment, such machines also reduce the cost of persons who empty the machines. The pay and display system is being used particularly for kerbside parking in UK where access barriers are not installed. (Wikipedia Encyclopedia, 2009d). The system has some limitation as well. First, it force people to walk short distance. Second, monitoring is most difficult. Third, more parking signage is required as compared to other systems (Flaherty, 1997).

    Pay-by-Space Meter

    Pay-by-space meter is another type of multi-space meter. In pay by space meter (which usually work differently as compared to pay and display meter), each parking space is assigned a unique number which is marked on the kerb. Upon arrival, parker enters the corresponding number of his desired parking space, deposit payment for the time-period during he will remain parked at kerb, and parks his vehicle (Zack, 2005).


    As the name suggests, this technology allows parker to deposit parking payments for the length of time they wish to remain parked at a kerb space by using the credit of their mobile phones. The system works in such a way that the user calls a toll-free number when he is likely to park the vehicle, and makes a phone call again when he is going to leave. This technology is already being used in several European Cities of the world. ( de Cerreo, 2002).

    Pay-by-phone technology has many advantages. First, it is a simple and fast parking system as almost even anyone can operate a cell phone easily. Second, it allows parker for remote parking payment. Third, in case of expiry of parking time, the information is communicated to the parker by sending a message (either voice mail or text). Fourth, it is inexpensive solution to kerbside parking problem (Carreno, 2008).

    Coupon Parking

    Coupon parking can be defined by Wikipedia encyclopedia (2009e) as:

    "Coupon parking is a variation of parking payment. It is similar to the pay and display mechanism without the use of machines; the motorist is to purchase a booklet of

    coupons in advance from the authorities instead".

    When a motorist parks his vehicle at a parking space, he usually purchases a coupon from parking attendant present at site. He may also purchase it from the concerned authority responsible for kerbside parking after paying the prescribed fee (Tan and Yeoh, 2008). Motorist first scratches the panel keeping in view the date and time. He then displays it at the dashboard. If the parking time expires, he can purchase or use another coupon for his convenience. In comparison with parking meter which is so expensive tool to install and maintain, the set up cost of coupon parking is significantly low. However, coupon parking system requires sufficient manpower for its effective enforcement. Coupon parking is being used in Singapore, Brazil, New Zealand, Australia, and Israel. (Wikipedia Encyclopedia, 2009e).

    Parking Disc

    It is a circular disc having time marked on it within a pocket. Before parking, the motorist set the parking disc according to the time of arrival plus the time of departure. For instance, if he arrives at 10:00 am, he sets the disk for 10:30 (30 min) with respect to the time limit allowed in a parking zone. Then, the set disk is displayed inside the windscreen. The patrolling traffic warden usually monitors the amount of time a vehicle is allowed for parking by using a watch. There are various negative points of disc parking. First, the system is complicated. Second, it requires more careful supervision since greater risk of cheating is involved. (Flaherty, 1997). This technology is being practiced in most of European countries. (Wikipedia, 2009f).

    Satellite Parking refers to a system of managing kerbside parking space through the use of navigation satellite. The system comprises of three interrelated components: (1) monitoring unit; (2) checking unit; and (3) location information computer unit. The monitoring unit usually do start functioning by taking the photograph of a parking space, transmits the image to a parking space checking unit which further transmits the image to the location information computer unit so as to transmit position-based information to the navigation satellite (Kim JH et al, 2008).

    Parking Occupancy Sensors

    Parking occupancy sensors are another innovative approach to increase the ability to manage and measure the kerbside parking in an efficient manner. These sensors are usually fixed in the pavement (as shown in the figure 3.13) and detect the presence of vehicle using electromagnetic changes (Shoup, 2008).

    These can be categorized as loop sensor and remote sensor. Loop sensors are embedded under the pavement of the road that can sense the presence of the vehicle electromagnetically but transmit the information through a wired connection. While, the remote sensors work similar to loop sensor with a slight difference of transmitting the signal wirelessly. Among these two options, remote sensor is considered to be the best option as it adheres to the pavement thus, reduces the implementation and maintenance cost (Weaver et al, 2009).


    Besides those strategies that have already been described, there are some other strategies which cannot be further classified and thus are placed under this head. These include:

    • Shared Parking
    • User Information and Way-Finding
    • Parking Security and Lighting
    • Development of Overflow Parking Plan

    Shared Parking

    Shared parking refers to a parking management strategy (either on-street or off-street) whereby parking spaces of various land use types can be shared keeping in view the peak time of different land uses located in close proximity. For instance, office may share its parking space with the restaurant (subject to the condition that restaurant must be located in close proximity) since the peak time of both of the land uses is different (See Table 3.2). Share parking can be categorized as on-street (curb) shared parking or off-street shared parking. On-street/curb parking is also called public parking while off-street parking is also known as private parking (TDM Encyclopedia, 2008)

    In case of on-street(curb) shared parking, parking spaces between two sites are shared as illustrated in the above example. Smith (1983) experimented shared parking and observed that total amount of parking could be reduced to 40-60%.

    Public Parking is considered to be the most efficient type of shared parking because of the reason that each space targets at many parkers and different destinations. Resultantly, a total of 100 public parking spaces correspond to 150 private parking spaces. So, developers may be asked to pay the in-lieu fee and then, the earned revenue from the developers can be utilized in improving the public on-street parking facilities as a substitute to the minimum requirements for private off-street parking. (Shoup, 1999).

    TDM encyclopedia (2008) highlights the advantages of shared parking as it is quick, flexible, and inexpensive method through which parking facilities can be utilized more efficiently. However, shared parking has also some disadvantages since it requires additional administration and enforcement activities. Some other evils of shared parking may be visualized after its implementation. e.g. It does not work in case of unusual peak periods.

    Parking Information and Way-finding

    Parking information system refers to various maps, signs, brochures, and various types of electronic communication systems so as to guide the users about different options of parking e.g. location, price, and availability (FHWA, 2007). For spreading information to the general pubic, a web-based tool incorporating maps, signs, brochures, rates, and related information can be developed (which may be updated from time-to-time) (TMA, 2006).

    Parking way-finding is a technical term which refers to a strategy to direct drivers in locating the appropriate parking place as per their needs. Way-finding is generally a part of the whole system of parking information.

    Parking Security and Lighting

    Since kerbside parking is a form of public parking, it must incorporate the principal of Crime Prevention system through Environmental Design (CPTED). The principal states that the lines of sights should be clear, the hiding places be eliminated together with the provision of adequate street lighting facilities such as sodium lamp, lamp post, suspended lights, etc. (Walker et al, 2007).

    Development of Overflow Parking Plan

    Overflow parking plan refers to a combination of different parking strategies for the management of kerbside parking during special events or unusual peak periods. Generally these include, shared parking, promotion of public transport facilities, enforcement of parking regulation to prefer priority users (disabled, HOV, etc), and walk-ability improvement (TDM Encyclopedia, 2008).


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