Pushing the Envelope on Parking Studies

How a Parking Reboot Is Helping a College Town Advance It’s Citywide Planning

Pushing the Envelope on Parking Studies

How a Parking Reboot Is Helping a College Town Advance It’s Citywide Planning

Published: January 30, 2024

In the heart of Denton, a dual college town just north of Dallas, Texas, lies a vibrant downtown full of activity. It’s a place where locals and visitors alike come to participate in a wide range of events and businesses that define the city’s unique charm. As such, parking is in high demand, and the constant struggle for parking often leads to congestion and safety concerns on their streets.  

Set on finding a better way, the City of Denton looked to us for guidance. Tasked with conducting a comprehensive parking management study for their downtown, we set out to support the city in better understanding the intricacies of their community’s parking dynamics. 

Using big data, we investigated the travel routes people frequented to get downtown, traveler demographics, and when downtown activity was at its busiest. Aerial footage of the entire study area was also gathered to pinpoint prime locations for traffic counts and provide a bird’s-eye view of the supply and demand for parking spaces. Offering a view of more than just the facilities we had counts for, this footage also showed risks like dark side streets and other hazards, which explained some unbalanced parking across facilities.  

Denton Square Travel Origin Map

Denton Square Activity Map

Visitation by Day of Week

Visitation by Time of Day

After studying the data, we took to the streets to learn more. Our team, alongside the J Williams Group, organized a public outreach pop-up at a local community event. With bilingual staff on hand to bridge any language barriers, we engaged directly with residents and visitors to uncover first-hand knowledge of common parking struggles and desires and received input on parking strategies being considered 

What emerged from this integrated approach was more than just a typical parking study. It has been a full exploration of community dynamics and travel behavior. By integrating data analysis with local insights and safety considerations, the city will have actionable near- and long-term recommendations that can serve as a blueprint for broader initiatives. Better accessibility and safety are possible, and it has been a pleasure to partner in the city’s efforts to ensure that people experiencing Denton spend more time savoring their activities and less time circling for parking. 

True progress in parking requires a multifaceted understanding of communities and their needs. For a holistic view of your community’s travel behavior and opportunities to improve accessibility, contact us! 

Contributors

Josh Peterman

Josh Peterman

Principal

Natalie Daugherty

Natalie Daugherty

Planner/Engineer

Spencer Reed

Spencer Reed

Senior Associate

Anjum Bawa

Anjum Bawa

Principal

Lucy Chen

Lucy Chen

Technician

Wayne Powell

Wayne Powell

Engineer/Planner