Dynamic parking management strategies may improve the ability to find on-street parking, yield environmental benefits, and improve access to local businesses.
Deployment of dynamic parking management in Seattle found that while increasing parking rates can reduce demand, reducing the rate may not stimulate demand


United States


Seattle, Washington,
United States

NCHRP Synthesis 447: Active Traffic Management for Arterials

Summary Information

This synthesis documents the state of the practice associated with designing, implementing, and operating active traffic management (ATM) on arterials. Information for this synthesis was gathered through a literature review of advanced ATM methods for arterials and in-depth telephone interviews of agencies selected through a screening interview. The study has provided information on strategies used to actively manage traffic and congestion on arterials; situations and operating conditions in which ATM strategies have been successfully and unsuccessfully deployed on arterials; and system and technology requirements associated with implementing the strategies.

Dynamic Parking Management

Dynamic parking management attempts to manage demand for parking spaces through variable parking rates and dissemination of real-time parking availability information. The goal of these programs often is to maintain at least one open parking space per block. Neighborhoods with high parking demand will have their parking rates increased, while neighborhoods with lower demand will have lower parking rates.


Generally, the expected benefits of managing parking using dynamic pricing are:
  • A better balance of on-street parking. Streets with lower use will be cheaper and attract more vehicles. Streets with higher use will be more expensive and push some demand to the lower-priced streets.
  • Improved ability to find parking. With a goal of at least one open space per block, parking will always be available on each block.
  • Reductions in greenhouse gases and delay. With a goal of having open spaces on every block, vehicles will no longer need to circle the block, which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve intersection delay.
  • Better access to local business. Higher parking rates encourage more turnover, allowing more people to park closer to local businesses.
Although a deployment of dynamic parking management in Seattle observed that while demand for parking was generally observed to decrease when parking prices increased, demand for parking did not as reliably increase when parking prices decreased. Some areas had more elastic demand for parking than others.