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D.C.-area commission reviews federal parking policies

After more than a decade, the National Capital Planning Commission is reviewing its federal parking policies, which will likely have an impact on federal workers in the Washington, D.C., region.

After more than a decade, the National Capital Planning Commission is reviewing its federal parking policies, which will likely have an impact on federal workers in the Washington, D.C., region.

The NCPC asked the U.S. Department of Transportation’s John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center to perform a parking study for the region, with the goal of using its findings to make updates to its current policies.

“For NCPC, parking policies are essential to fulfilling its planning role related to managing air and water quality, energy security, costs, and efficient development in the region,” the study states, adding, “While travel time, cost, and demographics ultimately determine transportation mode choices that individuals make, perhaps no aspect of the built environment affects travel decisions more than the availability of parking.”

With about 120 federal properties — including 40 major installations and more than 400,000 civilian and military and federal employees in the region — federal workers will be subject to any policy changes. The study also considers federal facilities’ proximity to the local Metrorail, in which about 40 percent of riders are federal employees during peak times.

It identified several key findings for three different study components, which included transportation literature and parking policy, local parking polices, and a modeling analysis.

One of those findings was that the transportation industry paradigm has changed from moving “vehicles” from place to place, to a focus on moving “people,” instead. Another finding was that travel time, out-of-pocket costs and parking availability significantly impacts individual parking decisions.

The researchers said that any policy update should encourage the use of public transportation and carpooling.

Read the full study here.

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