Private car traffic demand and land use planning: steering tools in the
field of private off street parking: results from a best practice study
Presented at the COS T WATCH WG1&WG2 meeting, Piraeus, Greece 18 – 19 April 2006.
Roman Klementschitz, Juliane Stark
Institute for Transport Studies, Department of Spatial-, Landscape- and Infrastructure
Sciences, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences (B OKU) Vienna, Austria
Phone: +43 1 47654 / 5308 e-mail: roman.klementschitz@bok u.ac.at
Today parking policy is widely seen as a proper tool to influence mobility
behaviours in urban and rural areas. Stories of success are written based on
regulations of on-street parking capacity and public parking pricing. The
implementation of such measures is business as usual in urban areas and
expected and accepted by car drivers entering cities. But what about privately
owned off-street parking space, both in urban and rural areas? Attractive car
parks supplying sufficient capacity free of charge are generating considerable
private car traffic because of shopping- leisure- or commuter trips.
Additionally, this makes areas outside of cities much more attractive for
investors as land is cheap for supplying such sufficient space for free parking.
To avoid these effects, regulations have to be integrated in a very early stage
of land development. In order to discuss possibilities of implementation of
such tools in the Vienna region, the city of Vienna and surrounding provinces
commissioned the Institute for Transport Studies to carry out a best practice
and transferability study [Sammer et al. 2005]. Based on semi-structured in-
depth interviews with local experts in about 30 European conurbations 1, it can
be stated, that most of the authorities are aware o f this problem and are
beginning to develop appropriate tools to manage mobility demand side by
side with land development.
Implemented practice examples can be basically distinguished in three
different types of measures:
(1) Limiting the total number of private off-street parking spaces,
(2) obligatory parking pricing for private off-street car parks, either to be paid
by the real estate owner or the user of the car park (customer or
(3) defining and negotiating trip-contingents based on a mobility plan
The national research project started in September 2004 and was finished in
The limitation of the off street parking spaces is clearly the most
implemented tool within the cities. Arguments for implementation are to meet
goals of city development or minimising the emissions. Usually the public
transport supply influences the zonal distinction of the measure. Furthermore,
the limits are influenced by the floor space and the type of use of the building.
Nevertheless there is a wide range of the upper limits within the different
cities. As for example, figure 1 shows a comparison of the regulations for
1the study includes cities in Austria, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, France, Spain, Un ited
Kingdom, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Greece
office buildings in city centres which shows a range of a factor of 6.2 between
the strongest and the weakest regulation.
gross floor space per parking space
Figure 1 Comparison of the limits of the number of parking space for office
buildings in city centres in different cities.
Obligatory parking pricing is only used in Switzerland so far within the cities
contacted. Nevertheless in some cities there is a legal basis empowering
communities to invent the measure, but because of strong competition
between communities in attracting investors the tool is generally not used.
The negotiation and definition of car trip contingents they are leading to
consequences for operators of traffic inducing plants if failing the limits is only
used in Switzerland so far. However, many city representatives stated, that
experience with mobility plans on voluntary basis including a targeted
reduction of car trips were made. Stories of success could be told in reducing
the number of car trips without enforcement as well, as operators can benefit
from the improved traffic situation and less parking space demand in their
area. Based on an emission control master plan, in Zurich such measures
were included as obligatory requirement in operation regulations or building
permits or are defined for a whole city quarter.
Overall, based on the data collected of the state of the art in the field of off
street parking management it can be clearly stated: where such measures are
invented, the experiences are generally positive and the effects are supporting
the traffic development targeted. The measures are transferable to other cities
easily. Furthermore in order to prevent inequity of competition between cities
(and regions) to attract investors, all city representatives recommended
clearly, it should be a goal to invent (and harmonize) the measures throughout
Europe or at least within one country, based on the experiences on innovati ve
practice examples, which are already there.
SAMMER G., STARK J., KLEMENTSCHITZ R., WEBER G., STÖGLEHNER G., BITTNER L.: IN -
STELLA - Instrumente zur Steuerung des Stellplatzangebotes für den Zielverkehr, Teil 1, nationale und
internationale Beispiele, i.A. der Länder Wien, Niederösterreich und Burgenland, Forschungsbericht
1.1/2005, Institut für Verkehrswesen, Universität für Bodenkultur, Vienna 2005.