Finding the Value of Urban Parking: An Analysis of the Impacts of Smart Parking Systems on Congestion and Land Values in Downtown Houston

In this report, researchers examined smart parking, a parking management tool that helps drivers efficiently find and pay for available parking by knowing where they will park before reaching their destination. This can prompt more traffic to have a definitive destination when exiting from major roadways near dense urban areas, potentially leading to increased efficiencies of existing parking structures and land use. Smart parking can also reduce congestion, 30 percent of which in urban cores is attributable to drivers searching for parking spaces. Researchers anticipate that smart parking systems will spark property redevelopment as land values increase and parking demand patterns change. A number of observations emerged from the study, which used downtown Houston as a case study. Using value capture mechanisms to collect revenues from smart parking improvements, an urban core and existing roadway networks would, if marginal property tax revenues exceed the cost of implementing and maintaining the system, receive congestion benefits and property value increases for no additional taxes or fees to the property owners. The revenues would come solely from the taxes levied on increased property values instead of diverting funds or raising taxes. Study results estimate about $4.4 million per year in congestion savings for the City of Houston if a smart parking system were to be implemented (though implementation and maintenance costs are not estimated). The potential value of redevelopment of surface parking in the analysis area ranges from $82 million to $722 million, based on a variety of different land uses. Using tax increment financing, the estimated additional annual tax revenue from increased property values is estimated between $575,000 and $4.7 million, depending on the new land use. Estimates are subject to current landowners’ willingness to sell or redevelop property. As such, these results are hypothetical and are intended to determine whether there is unleveraged value in the redevelopment of parking. There are approximately 10 acres of government owned, tax-exempt surface parking within the central business district (CBD). While data on the value of this land is not available, these parcels offer ideal opportunities for public-private partnerships to occur. Improvements to transportation infrastructure at the local level will also benefit the state system; therefore, encouraging local transportation initiatives, in many cases, may ncrease efficiency of the state system, delaying or eliminating the need for the state to fund other, costlier transportation improvements. While this report is narrow in scope, researchers believe that the findings are applicable to not only other CBDs within Texas, but also to surrounding urban areas.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 50p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01664316
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: PRC 17-88 F
  • Files: NTL, TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 27 2018 2:05PM