Parking policies for resurging cities: An Atlanta case study
Pringle, Jeshua D.
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Parking policies lie at the intersection of land use and transportation. Although often overlooked by traditional planning and engineering methods, parking can serve as an amplifier for an area’s success or failure. The impact of parking can be revealed through a critical look at the history of parking and its role in decentralizing the urban core. The incorporation of parking into zoning regulations, and a commitment to shaping cities to accommodate the automobile, has contributed to the sprawling development patterns seen across the United States. Parking, and the policies that govern parking, are a reflection of a city’s priorities. Cities that provide ample free parking incentivize travel by automobile; yet, dense urban cores are capable of efficiently supporting travel by alternative modes. On the other hand, cities that manage parking through regulations, technology, and pricing can achieve a better balance in commute mode choice. As cities across the U.S. experience a resurgence of their urban core, the policies that govern parking should be re-evaluated to reflect those cities’ future priorities. This thesis evaluates policies that shape the way parking is managed in cities and assesses the potential impact of these policies in the central business district of Atlanta, GA.