Skip to main content

Downtown Oakland Parking Study

Oakland, California
Firm Role
Parking and transportation demand management policy, data collection and analysis, grant writing
2014-16, adopted 2016
850-acre, 20,000-employee downtown

In recent years, Downtown Oakland has boomed, adding office space for 20,000 employees and more than 10,000 new residents. Towers are replacing parking lots and structures. To accommodate future growth gracefully, Oakland commissioned a comprehensive downtown parking study.

Patrick Siegman led the study while a principal at Nelson\Nygaard Consulting. The resulting plan provides a comprehensive management strategy for all public and private parking. The recommendations, developed with extensive public input, support the City’s overarching goals for economic growth, environmental sustainability, and social equity.

The work included inventorying 20,000 public and private parking spaces; conducting occupancy counts of all curb spaces and city-owned parking; surveying Disabled Person parking placards; public meetings; and online and in-person surveys of merchants and shoppers.

The plan’s recommendations include performance-based parking pricing; creating parking benefit districts to return a portion of meter revenues to downtown; restructuring garage rates to eliminate shortages and wait lists; transportation demand management programs to give employees better choices; abolishing minimum parking regulations; and comprehensive requirements that limit traffic from new private developments.

The study’s recommendations were unanimously adopted by the City Council. Many, including removing minimum parking regulations, have now been fully implemented. As a follow-up, we served as grant writers for the City’s successful Climate Initiative Parking and Transportation Demand Management Grant application to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. The $1.3 million grant is funding implementation of the plan’s performance-based parking pricing recommendations.

Images courtesy of the City of Oakland