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Parking Study

We are considering updating the City’s parking regulations. The purpose of this study is to make sure that parking regulations fulfill the City’s goals for: 

  • traffic
  • greenhouse gas emissions
  • climate resilience
  • housing
  • economic development
  • equity

This study has three parts: understand community mobility needs and how future changes might affect people, analyze current regulations, and propose a set of changes to parking regulations.  

For more information, contact Stephanie Groll at sgroll@cambridgema.gov

The Latest

Draft Report now available

The Parking Study Draft Report is now available.

Please email comments to parkingstudy@cambridgema.gov

Minimum Parking Requirements

The City Council voted to change parking requirements to eliminate minimum parking requirements for new buildings.

Here is a list of hearings on this topic:

  • October 24, 2022 (City Council meeting agenda and video) - ordained as amended
  • October 3, 2022 (City Council meeting agenda and video) - passed to a second reading
  • September 21, 2022 (Ordinance Committee agenda and video) - referred back to full Council with a positive recommendation
  • August 16, 2022 (Planning Board agenda and video) - unfavorable recommendation
  • August 3, 2022 (Ordinance Committee agenda and video) -  no action taken at this meeting
  • April 5, 2022 (Transportation and Public Utilities Committee agenda and video) - discussion
  • July 14, 2021 (Transportation and Public Utilities Committee agenda and video) - discussion

Project Details

Community Engagement 

We engaged with people who live, work, and shop in Cambridge to: 
  • provide information about parking and current regulations in the City, 
  • learn from you about the specific needs you experience now and expect in the future,
  • ensure that you have the chance to share thoughts on planning and policies,
  • build your understanding about how and why City decisions about parking are made,
  • develop a plan for how to analyze parking policies, and
  • learn what you think about different options

Early Analysis 

Once we began learning about the needs and experiences of community members, we began reviewing the current parking regulations to see what we could change. These regulations include zoning, the Parking and Transportation Demand Management Ordinance, the Commercial Parking Ordinance, the residential permit program, metered spaces, or how curb is used. 

Next Steps

We set this up as a comprehensive planning process, but due to staffing constraints and the amount of time it takes to engage deeply with community members, we will not be able to resolve many details by the schedule we set for ourselves.

Our next step is to decide and share which parking actions we will work on in the short-term and propose a timeline for completing them. We will also share a list of parking actions that need more study in the future before anything changes.

Project Schedule

  • Listening—beginning in September 2021
  • Analysis—April 2022 to July 2022
  • Draft approach—May 2022 to August 2022
  • Final approach—July 2022 to October 2022
  • Draft report—September 2022 to November 2022
  • Final report—REVISED More analysis needed before we can produce a final report

Engagement Updates

In fall 2021, the planning team began having conversations with community members to learn about their experience with parking and transportation. This engagement includes:

  • 10/16/21 Community member conversations at Danehy Park Day
  • 10/14/21 to 11/9/21 Interviews with the Cambridge Commission for People with Disabilities staff and board
  • 10/20/21 to 6/14/22 Interviews with Cambridge business owners and employees
  • 11/2021 Community member conversations at tables outside schools and libraries

Then the City's Community Engagement Team conducted six focus groups in early 2022. Click below for a summary of comments that people made:

Lastly, we conducted an online survey to hear opinions and questions about transportation and parking for people who live, work, visit or go to school in Cambridge.

Analyzing all the comments we received has taken longer than we anticipated. We will make a summary available in the future of what we heard during this community engagement process. We will provide other selected notes upon request. Meanwhile, we used what we heard to develop the potential strategies and actions in the Draft Report.

Check back for future notices about community engagement.

Key Documents and Resources

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