Re-allocating Urban Space to Support Multimodal Transportation

Research Team: Adam Millard-Ball (lead), Susan Handy

UC Campus(es): UC Davis, UCLA

Problem Statement: Reducing vehicle miles traveled (VMT) is a key plank of California’s climate and broader transportation policies. The draft Scoping Plan Update from the California Air Resources Board calls for a per capita reduction in VMT of at least 22% from 2019 to 2045, and the state’s regions have enshrined VMT reduction targets in their Sustainable Communities Strategies. These reductions, however, are unlikely to be achieved without a reduction in the physical space—roadways and parking—allocated to motor vehicles. Just as parking and highway expansion induce more vehicle travel, capacity reductions can reduce it and also lock in place VMT reductions achieved through improved transit and active transportation facilities.

Project Description: The research team will consider if, how, where, and to what extent California local governments are reducing road and parking capacity. Such reductions are likely to be relatively small-scale to date, and so the researchers will examine three policy areas where embryonic capacity reductions are most likely to have occurred: (i) the conversion of existing garages to Accessory Dwelling Units, leading to a reduction in parking for the principal residence; (ii) elimination of parking and/or travel lanes to create space for bicycling infrastructure; and (iii) conditions of approval for development projects under the new vehicle miles traveled standard following SB 743.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $115,000