Residential Off-Street Parking Impacts on Car Ownership, Vehicle Miles Traveled, and Related Carbon Emissions: New York City Case Study

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - vehicle, planning - travel demand management, planning - travel demand management, land use - impacts, land use - planning, ridership - mode choice, ridership - commuting, ridership - demand, policy - sustainable, policy - parking, organisation - management, mode - car


Vehicle miles of travel, Trip reduction, Travel demand management, Transportation policy, Transportation demand management, TDM measures, Sustainable development, Sustainability, Supply, Residential areas, Parking management, Off street parking, New York City, New York (New York), Mode choice, Modal choice, Demand, Commuting, City planning, Choice of transportation, Automobile ownership, Air quality


Parking is a key element of the street and highway system. Parking supply affects driving demand by changing the underlying cost structure associated with mode choice decisions. It also affects levels of auto ownership by changing the cost of auto ownership. These two facts combine to make parking management an important and powerful tool for both traffic and air-quality management. A pilot analysis of demographics, highway and transit access, and off-street parking in two New York City neighborhoods strongly suggests that the provision of residential off-street parking affects commuting behavior. Moreover, the type of parking provision plays a strong role in determining mode share. Accessory parking that is adjacent to a home, in a garage or driveway, seems more likely to generate auto commutes than does parking in commercial centralized lots. This analysis, which was followed by testing plausible development scenarios, shows that the city’s residential off-street parking regulations will undermine its own vision for a sustainable future.