New York, New York – European cities are reaping the rewards of innovative parking policies, including large reductions in car use, revitalized town centres, rising quality of urban life and reduced air pollution, according to a new study.

The report, Parking U-Turn: From Accommodation to Regulation, published by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, examined European parking over the last 50 years in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Copenhagen, London, Munich, Paris, Stockholm, Strasbourg and Zurich. The study found the following:

– Parking is increasingly linked to public transit, with Amsterdam, Paris, Zurich and Strasbourg limiting how much parking is allowed in new developments based on how far it is to walk to a bus, tram or metro stop. Zurich made significant investments in new tram and bus lines while making parking more expensive and less convenient, and between 2000 and 2005, saw the share of public transit use increase by seven per cent, and share of cars in traffic decline by six per cent.

– European cities are ahead of the rest of the world in charging rational prices for on-street parking. Paris has reduced the supply of on-street parking by more than nine per cent since 2003, and of the remaining stock, 95 per cent is paid parking. Along with other transport infrastructure improvements, the city has experienced a 13 per cent decrease in driving.

– Parking reforms are becoming more popular than congestion charging. Parking caps have been set in Zurich and Hamburg’s business districts to freeze the existing supply in areas where access to public transport is easiest.

– Revenue gathered from parking tariffs is being invested to support other mobility needs. Barcelona sends 100 per cent of revenue to operate Bicing, the city’s public bicycle system, while several boroughs in London use parking revenue to subsidize transit passes for seniors and the disabled, who ride public transit for free.

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