WASHINGTON DC – The Transportation Research Board, at its annual conference, honored a report co-authored by the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) as the best transportation and land use paper of 2016. 

The pioneering research debunks arbitrary standards that typical U.S. cities use to determine spaces for vehicle parking in their zoning codes. The report focuses on the District of Columbia, and helps perfect the use of location efficiency algorithms in predicting the amount of parking spaces needed. CNT worked on the report with the District of Columbia’s Department of Transportation, Cambridge Systems, Inc., Gorove/Slade Associates, Inc., the DC Office of Planning and Just Economics LLC.

“This paper has tremendous potential to make a real difference,” said John L. Renne, Chair, Transportation and Land Development Committee of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies. “It’s not always common to see such high-quality research that is both sophisticated and grounded in the real world coming out of the nonprofit and government sectors.  We hope more local governments across the United States will follow the District of Columbia in aspiring to implement these findings and engage in research activities related to transportation and land development issues.”

Related work by CNT in DC, King County (Seattle) Wash., and the San Francisco Bay Area has shown that many current zoning codes in cities for transit-oriented neighborhoods typically over-require space for vehicle parking by 41 percent or more.

“This paper and the tool (ParkRightDC.org) that we developed for District of Columbia Department of Transportation builds on the work we did in King County, Wash.,” said Peter Haas, CNT’s Chief Research Scientist who worked on the report. “It reinforces that too many buildings have too much parking, even in a compact city like Washington, DC.”

“In our San Francisco work, we showed that parking requirements for affordable housing were so expensive that affordability was wiped out,” CNT President and Co-Founder Scott Bernstein said.

“We need to move beyond reliance on conventional and one-size-fits all parking requirements,” said Linda Young, Director of Research and Project Management at CNT. “This paper provides the analytic foundation to "right-size" parking utilization using evidence-based projections.”

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