Demand-Based Parking Meter Rate Setting

New Parking Meter Rates in Central Downtown - Round 8

The Parking Authority of Baltimore City adjusted parking meter rates for the eighth time in Central Downtown using Demand-Based Parking Meter Rate Setting. Using occupancy data collected every six months, the Parking Authority is adjusting rates slowly and incrementally (no more than 25₵ every six months) to produce one or two available parking spaces on each block face (15-25% availability; or 75-85% occupancy).

The following formula is used to determine rate adjustments:

  • If the average occupancy rate is above 85% in a block (higher than the target range), the rate will go up to discourage some parkers from parking on this block, creating more available parking spaces.
  • If the average occupancy rate is below 75% in a block (lower than the target range), the rate will go down to encourage more parkers to park on this block.
  • If the average occupancy rate is between 75% and 85% (the target range), the rate will not change because there are already one or two parking spaces available.

 

Demand Based Parking Meter Rate Setting

CBD Meter Rate Adjustment Study Round 8, Spring 2021

Download list of meter rate adjustments.

Data for Round 8 of the PABC’s CBD meter rate adjustments study was collected in May of 2021. Detailed findings are below, followed by a chart of rate changes for each block face, and a rate map.  You can download the full report here.

New Parking Meter Rate Changes

New Parking Meter Rates

Findings 

  • The analysis indicates that during weekday daytime hours, an average of 47% of blockfaces in the CBD are over-parked (with fewer than one free space available), while 16% are under-parked (with more than two spaces available). Similar to Round 7, during this round of study there was more variation in parking activity than in pre-pandemic rounds of study. In the sixth round, for example, 35% of blockfaces were over-parked, and 22% of blockfaces were under-parked. While the plurality of blockfaces—92 total—showed one to two free spaces available during the sixth round, Round 7 showed only 31% of blockfaces were in this recommended target utilization range, and only 37% arrived in the recommended range in Round 8. This variation, which indicates the low and high ends of the parking utilization range are more common, may be an effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is discussed briefly below

What is Demand-Based Parking Meter Rate Setting?

Beginning in the Summer of 2017, the Parking Authority of Baltimore City started using demand for parking spaces to determine the hourly parking meter rate on blocks in Central Downtown. Using data collected every six months, the Parking Authority will adjust rates to help create one or two available parking spaces on each block, making it easier for parkers to find parking downtown and spend more time enjoying Baltimore.

What's the goal?

To reach our goal of one or two available parking spaces per block (15-25% availability; or 75-85% occupancy), we must use the right rate - the lowest rate that will regularly produce one or two available parking spaces on each block face.

How does it work?

Data will be collected and analyzed every six months to determine the average occupancy rate on each block. Meter rates will be adjusted incrementally and slowly. Rates will be adjusted up or down in $0.25 increments no more than once every six months.

  • If occupancy is higher than 85% in a particular block, the rate will go up.
  • If occupancy is lower than 75% in a particular block, the rate will go down.
  • If occupancy is between 75% and 85%, the rate will not change

Downloads

Other cities with demand-based pricing: