Demand-Based Parking Meter Rate Setting

New Parking Meter Rates in Central Downtown - Round 7

The Parking Authority of Baltimore City adjusted parking meter rates for the seventh 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 7, Winter 2021

Download list of meter rate adjustments.

Due to the impacts of COVID -19, PABC was only able to collect parking data one time during 2020. Data for Round 7 of the PABC’s CBD meter rate adjustments study was collected in September and October 2020. 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.

Rate Recommendations

Meter Rates Round 7

Findings 

  • Of the 215 block faces studied (with meters), 80 block faces’ (37%) rates will increase by $0.25, 67 block faces’ (31%) rates will maintain, and 68 block faces’ (32%) rates will decrease by $0.25. Overall, 63% of block faces will either maintain or decrease their current rates.
  • There will be 14 meter rates throughout the CBD: $3.75, $3.50, $3.25, $3.00, $2.75, $2.50, $2.25, $2.00, $1.75, $1.50, $1.25, $1.00, $0.75, and $0.50.
  • 20 block faces (9%) have had rate increases in all seven rounds of the study and will now have a rate of $3.75. For Round 2 there were 61 block faces (28%) that had increased in all rounds, for Round 3 there were 53 block faces (24%), for Round 4 there were 41 block faces (19%), for Round 5 there was 39 block faces Increase: 80 block faces (37%) Maintain: 67 block faces (31%) Decrease: 68 block faces (32%) 2 (18%) and for Round 6 there were 35 block faces (16%). •
  • 11 block faces (5%) have had rate decreases in all seven rounds of the study. For Round 2 there were 38 block faces (18%) that had decreased in all rounds, for Round 3 there were 33 block faces (15%), for Round 4 there were 26 block faces (12%), for Round 5 there were 24 block faces (11%), and for Round 6 there were 13 block faces (6%). In the 7th Round, the hourly rates for these 11 block faces would fall below $0.50.
  • When parking utilization remains low consistently and rates below $0.50 are suggested, it is worthwhile to consider removing parking meters or to extend the amount of time that can be reserved on the meter to 10 hours. In this case, because of potential changes in parking behavior due to COVID-19, our recommendation is to maintain these blocks’ rates at $0.50 and make a determination of whether to extend the meter’s hours or remove them altogether at a later date once the pandemic has passed.

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: