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May 18, 2012 > Best Practices Award for VTA and SJSU research project

Best Practices Award for VTA and SJSU research project

Study shows less parking needed, smarter growth prevails

Submitted By Brandi Childress

On May 11, 2012 the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) and San Jose State University (SJSU) received the 2012 Best Practices Award from the American Planning Association, California Chapter - Northern Section, for their research effort to study parking at residential developments near public transit sites, or transit-oriented developments (TODs).

The research team consisted of VTA staff, graduate students and an adjunct lecturer in SJSU's Department of Urban and Regional Planning (DURP). The study focused on parking usage rates at 12 housing developments near VTA light rail and Caltrain stations and found that the parking supply exceeds actual demand, which suggests that residential parking requirements could be significantly reduced without the risk of "under-parking" a TOD site. Furthermore, unused parking supply consumes land, money and other resources needed to construct and maintain parking facilities. Reduced parking could translate into potential cost savings for developers and affordable housing for residents located near rail transit service.

As the congestion management agency for Santa Clara County, VTA is responsible for multi-modal, countywide transportation planning that involves building relationships with city partners, universities and other stakeholders to deliver transportation solutions for our communities. DURP engages faculty and students in public service projects designed to assist communities in addressing topical planning issues, while complementing the academic curriculum with real-world professional experiences.

The timely and relevant research results will help shape future developments in Santa Clara County that are more pedestrian-friendly and encourage the use of public transit. The study also received a national best practices award from the Institute of Transportation Engineers' (ITE) in 2011.

For more information about the parking research study titled "A Parking Utilization Survey of Transit-Oriented Development Residential Properties in Santa Clara County," visit

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