From a revenue perspective, lack of parking is a good problem to have—a higher demand for parking means imposing higher parking rates. However, a lack of space also means residents are circling for parking or those who truly need it are left without a space.
When considering how most Arlington multi-family dwellings are surrounded by transit options, it’s apparent that some tenants are taking up parking spaces that they don’t actually need.
Unbundle Garage Parking
Residents are more likely to own a personal vehicle when parking is included in apartment rent. A recent study by Mobility Lab found that buildings with bundled parking rents also generated 12.5% higher drive-alone rates for commute trips. Charging parking fees separately is a simple yet compelling way to get residents to reconsider their need for a parking space.
Strike the Right Balance
In areas with limited transit options, higher parking rates may not make a lot of sense. In order to find a balance between staying competitive and encouraging residents to forgo a personal car, consider raising the rent for additional vehicles per unit. In roommate or family situations, there is a chance that the first car is truly a non-negotiable but a back-up vehicle is only perceived to be a necessity.
In a dense area like Arlington, tenants often have a car for very specific and infrequent uses, like trips to the grocery store or furniture shopping. With the prevalence of carshare and ride-hailing services, it’s easier and more affordable to give up a personal vehicle. Those who do so save on maintenance, parking, and insurance, and still have access to a vehicle when it’s truly necessary. Recommend transit options based on your resident's commutes and ask them how often they drive their cars.
Reward with Resources
When a resident gives up their parking space and opts to go car-free, thank them for their commitment to sustainability. A preloaded SmarTrip card, annual Capital Bikeshare memberships, or credit for carshare services like Zipcar or car2go are just some options to encourage their sustainable behavior. For people who are looking towards active transportation options, partner with a local bike shop to provide free bike tune-ups and repairs.
Anticipate Resident's Needs
Successful property managers are skilled at proactively seeking solutions for residents and suggesting alternatives to problems like crowded parking. Arlington Transportation Partners offers a variety of resources to help your residents give up their extra parking space. Get in touch with us to start implementing changes and transportation programs for your residents.
Photo Credit: Sam Kittner/Kittner.com for Arlington Transportation Partners