Does residential parking supply affect household car ownership? The case of New York City

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This paper investigates the impact of residential parking supply on private car ownership, the relationship at the heart of the debate on whether residential parking regulations could be used as a demand management strategy to influence travel behavior. However, no empirical studies have sufficiently answered the question. Many believe that parking has little or no effect on car ownership, while others disagree. The paper analyzes 770 households randomly selected from a household travel survey in the New York City region, and measures their complete parking supply, including garage size, driveway spaces, and on-street parking availability, using Google Streetviews and Bing Maps. Results from a nested logit model show that parking supply can significantly determine household car ownership decisions, even after controlling for the endogeneity between the two. Their influence actually outperforms household income and demographic characteristics, the often-assumed dominant determinants of car ownership. Different parking types also behave differently: driveway spaces are more important to car ownership than garages probably because many residents in the study region do not use a garage for car storage. On-street parking is also important to households with off-street parking. Implications for residential parking policies like the maximum off-street parking standard, resident parking permit, and street cleaning are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-28
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Transport Geography
StatePublished - Jan 2013


  • Car ownership
  • Google Streetviews
  • Nested logit
  • New York City
  • Residential parking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Transportation
  • General Environmental Science


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