Parking Policy to Improve Accessibility in Industrial Areas.

Parking Policy to Improve Accessibility in Industrial Areas.


G S Tchang, Port of Amsterdam and Free University Amsterdam, NL


Does parking policy improves accessibility of industrial areas? By analysing two different cases and international literature on the reactions of companies and commuters, some conclusions will be drawn on the consequences of these policies.


There is a direct link between accessibility and parking. Customers, suppliers and staff are frequently travelling by car. Over 53 percent of the employees are commuting by car (as a driver) in the Netherlands. This means, with a commuting labour force of approximately 5 million people, there need to be over 2.5 million parking places available. A major demand of space, just for cars. Concerning that ?building? a parking place costs ?3,500 till ?25,000, depending on the location, it also cots a lot of money. According to various authors, the availability of parking places is for many companies a priority when they choose a new location. It is an important determinant of real estate prices and land rent. Parking may even cause local congestion and additional environmental pollution when travellers are looking for a vacant parking place. This makes parking an important social and economic issue. Remarkably, there is not much research done on (the consequences of) parking policy.

From a theoretical point of view there are some doubts about the possibilities to change behaviour of travellers by the introduction of parking policy, especially pricing of parking. It is important to know the ambition of the parking policy. When the ambition is a decrease of car usage measured in vehicle km?s, parking policy is not the first best solution, because there is no direct link with travel distance: a parking fee is just related to the decision of making a trip or not. Parking policy is an option to change the modal choice of travellers. There is not always an alternative mode of transport available for commuters, at least in the short term. In the long term employees may also change jobs.

A key to success is the enforcement policy. There must be a balance between cost and benefits of enforcement. If there is not enough enforcement, the inconvenience caused by illegal parking may not decrease. The introduction of a parking fee is usually not well accepted by many people. To get a better acceptance, it is important that it is clear for everyone what happens with the income earned by charging parking fees.

Literature shows that employers subsidize employees by offering them free parking at the employers? site or at other locations, for example given a car park in the neighbourhood. To rent a place at a car park or to realise a place at the own site costs money. The land cannot be used for other activities (opportunity costs). Subsidies can be taxed by the government. Employers can also decide not to spent the money on a parking place and give the full amount or a part of it to the employee who can chose to spent it on parking fees or travelling by other modes of transport. In the USA this measure significantly reduce the demand for parking places.

The purpose of this paper is to analyse if parking policy improves accessibility of an industrial area. A comparison will be made between two Dutch cases and the theory found in international literature to see how companies and commuters react on the introduction of a parking policy in an industrial area. One of the cases analyses the introduction of ?paid parking? in an industrial area. Companies were interviewed before and after the introduction of the new parking policy at January 1st in 2007. The other case is a similar kind of industrial area were ?paid parking? is introduced several years ago.

This paper is part of a PhD research project on the accessibility of industrial areas for employees. Accessibility is not limited to the accessibility by car, other modalities will be a part of this project to. The topic will be analysed from different perspectives, e.g. perspective of the employee, the employer and the landlord.

Contact details:
Drs. G.S. Tchang BSc.
Free University / Port of Amsterdam


Association for European Transport