By sharing or jointly using parking facilities, businesses or buildings can take advantage of different peak parking demands (i.e. office buildings experience peak parking in the daytime whereas movie theaters experience peak parking in the evening). Shared parking can be implemented through the local zoning ordinance or through agreements between individual property owners.
Typically, two or more different land uses that share a single lot are required to account for the entirety of their individual parking requirements so that the total number of parking spaces within that lot is equal to the sum of spaces required for each individual use. Shared parking is best applied when land uses have significantly different peak parking characteristics that vary by time of day, day of week, and / or season of the year.
Often, the land uses used in these arrangements include office, restaurants, retail, colleges, churches, cinemas, and special event situation. It is typically found in mixed use developments, which often include a combination of office, retail and residential uses. General parking lots and / or on street parking that is available for patrons of nearby businesses/commercial districts is another form of shared parking.
Prior to establishing a shared parking provision the following factors must be considered:
> The physical layout of the development
> The parking pattern of typical users of the facility
> The total number of parked vehicles expected for each use during different time periods.
A common method used to determine the minimum number of spaces required for a shared parking facility involves the following steps:
> Determine the minimum amount of parking required for each land use or destination by time period as if it were a separate use.
> Sum the number of required spaces in each time period across uses.
> Set the minimum requirement at the maximum total across time periods.
The Metropolitan Area Planning Council has produced a Sustainable Transportation: Parking Toolkit designed to help local officials, developers, citizen board members, and advocates understand the sources of parking issues in their communities and identify potential solutions. The strategies outlined in the toolkit address a variety of situations and concerns in ways that save money, protect the environment, support local businesses, and encourage alternatives to driving.