GreenTRIP's plan for provisional parking and creating new models for carshare system expansion

Posted by Stu Cohen on Wednesday, February 8 2012


Stu Cohen

Editor's Note: Stuart Cohen and Ann Cheng presented TransForm's GreenTRIP program during a webinar on January 11, 2012. This article follows up on several points and questions made during that presentation. You can find out more about Stuart Cohen and Transform, as well as sign up for updates about the program, at our Switzer Network News report page.

Thanks so much to the Switzer Foundation for supporting our work. We are very excited to be working with a cohort of innovative developers that are breaking the mold and setting a new bar by providing transit passes and carshare memberships for 40 years! Thanks to the creativity of our GreenTRIP developers partnered with visionary city staff, elected officials and transit and carsharing agencies, we’ve discovered a couple of techniques to show how parking codes and traffic reduction strategies can be implemented together.

Provisional Parking: At Parker Place, a GreenTRIP certified project in the City of Berkeley, the developer was allowed to delay installation of expensive parking lifts after committing to providing one free transit pass per unit for 40 years and unbundling parking 100% (separating the cost of renting parking from the home). In either case the garage will be built high enough to accommodate parking lifts, so if the transit passes and unbundling don’t work, there is still room to add more parking spaces to meet demand. By providing transit passes, the developers can also market and attract residents that are more inclined to use transit and further ensuring that they won’t need to add lifts at a later date. Find more information about Parker Place here.

New Models for Carshare System Expansion: We are currently helping a couple of our GreenTRIP developers explore new ways to provide carshare in locations where it isn’t currently available. In addition to offering a space for parking a carshare vehicle, our GreenTRIP applicants are also getting direct feedback from the CEO of City CarShare on site design tips to ensure successful use of carsharing cars. Our GreenTRIP developers are also exploring the possibility of providing the cars themselves.

In the past most developers have only asked carshare agencies to locate their shared cars on their properties, without offering any cost sharing. This is a stretch for carshare agencies as most of the time they are being asked to come to locations that they know will not be financially viable (not enough density, transit and too much parking available). Usually the conversation stops there, with many developers feeling like carshare won't come.

Thanks to GreenTRIP, we’ve facilitated a totally different conversation between GreenTRIP developers and City Carshare. We work with GreenTRIP developers to design carsharing in, before the project gets entitlements. As a result GreenTRIP developers are incentivized to consider the cost of reducing the project by 0.25 parking spaces in exchange for providing 2 or 3 cars. With a 100 unit project this could be up to 25 parking spaces. Buying two or three cars and connection to a carshare network like City Carshare, is vastly cheaper than $500,000 on unused parking, assuming parking costs an average of $20,000 per space to build

We are definitely looking for funding and project partners. If you are doing related work or want to support us please sign up for our updates.

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