Parking Policies and Modal Choice: a Disaggregated Approach Applied to French Cities

Parking Policies and Modal Choice: a Disaggregated Approach Applied to French Cities


F Hasiak, N Merle, D Verry, French Ministry of Transport, FR


The paper deals with two objectives: improving knowledge in parking policies by using household travel surveys, and integrating parking constraint in models of modal choice. This method can be easily generalized to all cities with HTS.


Vehicle parking policies have crucial influence on travel demand and urban design. Many works mention the parking constraint as a major determing factor in modal choice(Bonnel, 2004 - CERTU, 2003). In spite of its importance, very few cities in France take into account systematicaly parking contraints in their planing models because of lack of standardized methodology.

By this work, technical centers of french ministry of transport try to propose an applied methodology for all local transport authorities to improve their parking policy and models of modal choice.

The paper deals with these two objectives.

In the first part, we present the methodology of parking constraint estimation and the results on three French urban areas (Lille, Lyon and Montpellier, more than 100,000 trips collected). Household survey data based on harmonized methodology since 1970 in France (more than 120 surveys have been conducted) are used for this research. Time to find a parking space, time to walk between parking place and final destination, type of parking (parking fee or free), the availability of a parking place in the workplace are calculated for each trip to estimate parking constraints.

The combination of these variables can build an objective classification of the level of parking constraint (low, medium or high constraint). The classification is developed for every district of the city. This method can be easily generalized to each agglomeration with household travel survey.

In the second part, we show how this variable influences modal choice in a discrete choice model (Ben Akiva, 1985- Willumsen, 2001).

Parking constraint has been tested in discrete choice models applied to the urban agglomeration of Lille. Free software Biogeme (Bierlaire, 2003) developed by Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) has been used for setting the utility functions.
A segmentation of individuals was made by using car dependancy variable. This concept of car dependence is directly deducted from the characteristics of households (number of cars available) and characteristics of individuals (age, household status).
These two variables, one related to parking supply and the other related to the individual, largely explain the modal choice.

Tests show clearly that the parking constraint improves the quality of each model

Conclusion :
We have proposed a methods to characterize parking constraints and integrate it modal choice model that coud be easily generalized to all towns with household travel survey. The interest of integrating this variable is to allow city planners to test public policy, for example, restriction of car use in city center.

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