Efficient parking practices can reduce congestion and support increased public transit use, contributing to regular physical activity and improved air quality and water quality.
- Parking Efficiency Practices are strategies designed to minimize the size and impact of parking areas provided on site to meet the needs of the community and encourage alternative commuting patterns.
- A parking garage refers to the inclusion of structured parking, in which parking is included within a structure that is below, at, or above grade so that vehicles are not visible from the street.
The intent of the Parking Efficiency Practices strategy is to overtly improve and prioritize pedestrians within the built environment by subsequently employing a number of practices that mitigate the negative visual and environmental effects of excess surface parking.
- Practices must include two unique categories of parking efficiency practices. For example, a project may not submit two “enhanced landscaping” elements and qualify. Instead, enhanced landscaping would qualify as one practice, and a second practice would also need to be implemented.
- Enhanced landscaping is meant to be implemented both within and around parking areas, in order to minimize or reduce the number of parking spaces, prioritize landscaping allocation, and beautify surface parking to make a more pleasant pedestrian experience.
- Perimeter sidewalks do not qualify as pedestrian pathways. In order to qualify, a protected pedestrian pathway(s) must transect parking areas, offering pedestrians a delineated and protected space to exit the parking area. Fitwel cannot accept striped crosswalks alone for this practice. Instead, protected pathways must include landscaping on either side of the pathway to buffer the pathway and to reduce impervious groundcover.
- Designated parking spaces for electric vehicles, electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and disability parking do not qualify, as the intent of this strategy is to reduce the number of parking spaces and/or upgrade the appearance of conventional surface parking.
- When pursuing the practice of “separating the cost of renting a tenant space on site from the cost of renting parking areas on-site,” showing partial free parking and partial charged parking do not qualify. Partial free parking and partial charged parking do not qualify. For example, a project where surface parking is made available for free, but structured parking is not made free, does not qualify. Any model in which free parking is available does not qualify, as the intent is to discourage the use of private vehicles and incentivize alternative commuting modes.
- When pursuing the practice of "limiting surface parking by prioritizing access to on-site or off-site parking garages":
- The intent of this pathway under this strategy is to encourage projects to prioritize the allocation of structured parking spaces to the greatest degree possible, in terms of both space and cost. However, our Certification Team will typically approve project parking that includes any combination of structured and surface parking. In other words, the quantity of structured parking is not typically taken under assessment.
- Designated parking spaces for carpooling and vanpooling must be provided at all times throughout operating times; time limitations and/or validity periods do not qualify.
- To show enhanced landscaping practices, provide both close-up photographs and aerial views, where possible, to show the landscaping is sufficient to meet the intent.
- If the project is part of a campus, and other strategies show several parking areas on the campus, clearly annotate the annotated plans for this strategy to provide clarity about all of the surface parking area(s) and/or parking structure(s) available to regular occupants of the project.