Publication Detail

Households with Constrained Off-Street Parking Drive Fewer Miles


Journal Article

3 Revolutions Future Mobility Program, Policy Institute for Energy, Environment, and the Economy

Suggested Citation:
Currans, Kristina, Gabriella Abou-Zeid, Chris McCahill, Nicole Iroz-Elardo, Kelly J. Clifton, Susan L. Handy, Irene Pineda (2022) Households with Constrained Off-Street Parking Drive Fewer Miles. Transportation

Parking supply is one of the most neglected elements of the built environment in travel behavior research, despite evidence linking parking with vehicle use. As transportation impacts of new development are increasingly measured by vehicle miles traveled (VMT), explicitly connecting parking characteristics with vehicle travel is necessary to better inform transportation and land use policy. In this paper, we begin to address this research gap and explore the relationship between constrained parking and household VMT. Utilizing the 2017 National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) California add-on sample, we estimate residential parking constraint for households in Los Angeles County. Then, we develop a two-level model framework. Level 1 (Cost) models estimate travel costs, represented by vehicle ownership as a function of parking constraints, the built environment, and demographics. Level 2 (Demand) models regress household-level total and homebased-work VMT on predicted vehicle ownership, controlling for temporal and environmental characteristics. To further explore the relationship between parking and VMT by place type, we applied Level 1 and Level 2 models to develop a suite of scenarios for typical households in Los Angeles County. Our findings support the hypothesis that the built environment (including parking) influences VMT through travel costs (vehicle ownership). Results from scenarios analysis reveal constrained on-site residential parking (< 1 parking space per dwelling unit), accounts for an approximate 10–23 percentage-point decrease in VMT within each place type. Finally, implications for practice and future research are presented.