In 2012, the Roanoke Valley Alleghany Regional Commission (RVARC) worked with the City to develop a study of downtown parking. The city had also applied for and was awarded an EPA technical assistance grant to audit the parking supply in downtown. Nelson-Nygaard, a nationally-recognized expert in the field, conducted the audit, using data collected by RVARC and observations made during a two-day visit in Roanoke.
In response to the studies, Roanoke is working to implement some of the recommendations, beginning with expanding time the limits in lower demand areas in various parts of the greater downtown area. Meanwhile, options for pricing parking in high demand areas are being explored and efforts to publicize the availability of parking especially for PARK Roanoke’s Market Lot have increased off-street parking utilization.
Read information about the Parking Studies
Summary of RVARC study findings:
1) On-Street Parking Spaces
- Overall, the on-street parking supply is sufficient to meet existing demand. In fact, daytime peak occupancy of 67 percent within the Central Business District (“CBD”) indicates that the supply is being underutilized.
- Free on-street parking and time limit restrictions are the two primary factor shaping on-street parking preferences and utilization patterns
- Concentrations of highly demanded on-street parking spaces may create the perception that the on-street parking supply is inadequate
- Downtown parking enforcement officers typically only enforce on-street parking restrictions from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. during the weekdays and not on weekends.
- Only 57 percent of study area spaces are occupied at noon
- Only 55 percent of all CBD spaces are occupied on Saturday mornings
- Concentrations of highly occupied on-street spaces include the blocks within the Market District, Campbell Avenue between 1st and 2nd Streets, and Franklin Road between Williamson Road and 1st Street.
- About 79 percent of all 1 hour spaces within the CBD are occupied at 12:00 Noon
2) Off- Street Parking Spaces
- Within the CBD, 77 percent of available off-street spaces are occupied at 12:00 Noon
- 75 percent of Study Area off-street spaces are occupied at 12:00 Noon
- PARK Roanoke lots and garages are the most utilized of all parking facilities, including on-street spaces
- Within the CBD, 83, 85, and 72 percent of PARK Roanoke spaces are occupied at 9:00 am, 12:00 Noon, and 3:00 p.m. respectively
- The Market Lot and the Tower Garage are the most underutilized PARK Roanoke facilities
- The majority of Car Park lots are significantly underutilized, three lots are the most utilized, and one lot exceeds capacity at 12:00 Noon by 17 percent
- Despite its prime location in the Market District, the Market Lot only reaches 41 percent occupancy at peak hour (12:00 Noon)