Implementation of Demand-Based Pricing to Washington D.C. Street Parking Resulted in an Increase of 10 Percent of Parking Usage and a Decrease in the Time To Find Parking of Seven Minutes.

A Pilot Study Implemented Demand-Based Pricing to On-Street Parking in Washington D.C. With the Goal of Improving Parking Utilization, Vehicle Turnover, and Double Parking.

Date Posted

parkDC Penn Quarter/Chinatown Parking Pricing Pilot

Summary Information

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) used curbside management techniques such as demand-based priced parking because of the potential benefits such as improving vehicle turnover, improving parking utilization, reduce double parking, and shifting road users from driving to public transportation. DDOT led the Penn Quarter/Chinatown Parking Pricing Pilot to manage curbside parking to increase parking availability and turnover and decrease the time it takes to find an available parking space. To achieve this, parking prices varied by day of the week, time of day, block, and side of street. This led parking users to spending less time in high-demand areas and more time in low-demand areas which increased parking availability and created a balanced parking environment. 


This pilot involved demand-based parking pricing to on-street spaces in the pilot area. Higher hourly parking rates were applied to high-demand blocks to improve turnover and lower hourly parking rates were applied to low-demand blocks to incentivize greater use. Based on ongoing monitoring of parking demand, prices were changed accordingly during the span of the pilot. Prices increased on blocks where parking demand exceeded supply, decreased on blocks where parking supply exceeded demand, and remained constant where demand matched supply. DDOT based pricing on the D.C. average cost of parking which was $2.30 per hour. DDOT also implemented time limit changes depending on the day of the week and time of day. Time limits were increased during the evening and on weekends in low-demand areas to make parking there more attractive.


  • Street parking usage (demand matching supply) increased by 10 percent.
  • Low-demand parking occupancy increased by 12 percent.
  • The length of stay on low demand blocks increased by 14 percent.
  • The total time to find an available parking spot decreased by 7 minutes. 
Goal Areas
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Deployment Locations