GRAD 3 | Parker Pays Principal

Project Objective | The City of Somerville needed help on formulating their parking policies. The first question to be answered for this was whether there was a lack of supply or excess of demand, or vice-versa.  But unfortunately, the city did not have any facts to answer these questions. So, this project is a first hand data on supply and demand of parking in Union Square, City of Somerville, MA (USA) that guided us to recommend policy options.

Description | The following graphic maps only the parking supply in Union Square. It shows that more than 18% of developable land is currently used as parking.  Whereas experts like architect and planner Christopher Alexander estimate that no more than 9% of developable land should go to parking. Therefore, clearly there is an excess supply.

Parking Inventory for Union Square, Somerville, MA

The second map uses the traffic-light colors to show the utilization of parking at one time of the week (Friday evening), where red represents congestion and green represents under-utilization.  As is clearly visible, there is more congestion closer to the square and it decreases as one goes away from it. This analysis informed us to focus on pricing management to improve efficiency of available parking rather than increasing supply.

Parking Utilization in Union Square from 7pm to 9pm on a Friday (Spring time)

(A super special thanks to Luc Schuster… Whadda pardner! )


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