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The Parking Handbook for Small Communities

This book is out of print.

A practical alternative is Parking Management Best Practices.

In this insightful and very readable book, author Todd Litman advocates the use of a wide range of parking management strategies to make the most efficient use of existing parking.

Learn more.


The Parking Handbook for Small Communities provides a complete and thorough review of how to plan, develop and manage parking in a small downtown.

Written in straight-forward non-technical language, it can be used by anyone who wants to find appropriate solutions to downtown parking problems.

When this book was written in 1994, there was virtually nothing else available to guide small communities in improving their parking systems. Today, The Parking Handbook for Small Communities remains the best source of expert guidance for cities with populations under 50,000.

It addresses the unique issues that smaller communities face and focuses on practical, time-tested methods for improvement.

The handbook is divided into seven chapters, each representing a critical phase in the process of improving the downtown parking system.

Step 1: Getting organized. Provides background data and stresses the need for a coordinated downtown parking plan.

Step 2: Gathering data and analyzing demand. The best parking decisions can only be made with the most accurate information. This chapter not only outlines the steps in the data-gathering process, but also introduces you to the formulas necessary to determine current and future demand for parking in your downtown.

Step 3: Increasing the effectiveness of existing parking. Once you know what you have and what you need, the first practical step is to make better use of your existing supply of parking. Chapter three shows you a variety of ways to make your existing parking supply go further.

Step 4: Planning and developing new parking facilities. Often, maximizing your existing supply of parking just isn’t enough. Chapter four gives you the details for developing new parking facilities, with special emphasis on the development of small parking lots.

Step 5: Promoting the parking program. Making sure that the public understands the parking system and uses it to its fullest potential is nearly as important as developing the system itself. Chapter five provides valuable examples of ways that downtowns are successfully "selling" their parking system to their customers.

Step 6: Managing the parking system. This job really begins after you have developed the parking you need. Chapter six covers selecting who will coordinate the program and the responsibilities of participating agencies.

Step 7: Putting it together ... and keeping it together. The Parking Handbook for Small Communities concludes with a discussion of how you “sell” your program to local elected officials and the public; where to start with the implementation; and how to update your program periodically.

The Parking Handbook for Small Communities is fully illustrated throughout with examples of everything from how to collect, analyze, and report parking data; to design guidelines; to samples of marketing materials.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
    • What is it that makes downtown different ... and special?
    • Facts are facts
    • Who is this handbook for?
    • The steps
  1. Getting Organized
    • Parking characteristics
      - Typical parking supply
      - Attitude surveys
    • Parking and downtown revitalization
      - New development requires parking
      - Shared parking
      - Sensitivity of demand
      - Residential parking
    • Parking in small communities: The constraints
    • Developing a plan
  2. Gathering Data and Analyzing Demand
    • Current database
      - Supply and location: Conducting a parking inventory
      - Tabulating data
      - Current use: Surveys of parking patterns
      - Expansion of survey samples
      - Survey of shopper attitudes
    • What to look for from the data
    • Projecting parking demand
      - Creating a parking model
    • Selection of potential sites
  3. Increasing the Effectiveness of Existing Parking
    • Parking restrictions
      - Angle parking
      - Time limits
      - Loading limits
      - Handicapped parking
      - Other restrictions
    • Parking enforcement
      - Identifying parking violators
      - Supplementing police enforcement
      - Ticketing parking offenders
    • Parking meters
      - Parking meter security
    • Parking rates and fees
      - On-street fees
      - Off-street fees
    • Parking fines
    • Disposition of parking fees and fines
    • Public support for parking enforcement
    • Better utilization of existing off-street areas
    • Summary
  4. Planning and Developing New Parking Facilities
    • Facility site selection and evaluation
    • Facility size and type
    • Fundamentals of parking design
      - Parking angles
      - The “design vehicle”
      - Composite parking standards
    • Parking facility layout
      - Internal circulation
      - One-way versus two-way circulation
      - Entrance and exit design
      - Reservoir space
    • Landscaping
    • Parking lot lighting
    • Handicapped parking
    • Construction standards
      - Preparation of the site
      - Paving of the site
      - Construction cost of surface paving
    • Parking control issues
      - Revenue collection
      - Security
    • Summary of new parking facility design
  5. Promoting the Parking Program
    • Parking publicity
    • Increasing convenience for the customer
    • Parking signs
    • Financing parking promotion
    • Educational efforts
  6. Managing the Parking System
    • Types of parking management
    • Downtown parking advisory committee
    • Downtown parking corporation
    • Parking authority
    • Parking unit of a city department
    • Parking department
    • Public ownership — Private operation
    • Conclusion
  7. Putting it all Together ... and Keeping it Together
    • How the parking plan goes together
    • Securing endorsement for the parking plan
    • Implementing the plan
    • Analysis of and revisions to the parking system
    • Conclusion
  • Glossary of Parking Terms

Your Guarantee of Satisfaction

The Parking Handbook for Small Communities is guaranteed. If you are not 100% satisfied, you may return it within 30 days for a full refund.

About the Author

John D. Edwards, P.E. has over 35 years of experience in the traffic engineering, transportation planning, and parking fields. During his consulting assignments, he has managed over 25 central business district studies including the following: Downtown Traffic Circulation and Parking Plan, Charleston, SC; High Point CBD Parking Plan, High Point, NC; Traffic and Parking Plan for Downtown Tupelo, MS; Comprehensive Parking Study, Knoxville, TN; Comprehensive Parking Plan, Macon, GA.


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