Parking districts are consolidated areas where parking is managed not on a building-by-building or site-by-site basis but across a larger area. Parking Authorities are municipal entities that are empowered to levy fees, set policies, raise funds for building and managing parking resources, and related pedestrian improvements.
Parking districts, by considering parking in a more holistic way, enable the application of more flexible parking strategies such as shared parking and remote parking, and also enable occupants of the district to raise money for investments in parking resources as well as improvements in biking and walking.
Parking authorities need to be staffed and established as organizations. Recommendations regarding parking ratios, parking fees and the deployment of more creative parking strategies need to be supported by technical studies by consultants.
Parking districts create flexibility in finding solutions to parking challenges. Parking district plans can be used to engage residents in a larger initiative around the downtown environment. Parking Authorities can generate revenue for a variety of improvements that relate to the overall pedestrian environment of a downtown. Reduction in the overall area devoted to parking can enable redevelopment for more uses that better support the downtown.