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There are too many parking spaces in Arlington.

There are too many parking spaces in Arlington.

Sam Kittner for Mobility Lab.

Study: There is Too Much Parking in Arlington County

One out of every five parking spaces at residential buildings in Arlington goes unused, according to a new study, prompting some transit experts to seek creative ways to keep people from driving.

A new study from Mobility Lab showed that in 32 Arlington apartment buildings, only four had full parking lots, and the average maximum use was just 78 percent. That means more than 20 percent of parking is excess.

“Given the existing excess supply, the County has an opportunity to allow existing development to “sell” parking spaces to new development using the excess supply to partially meet the expected demand from the new development, thereby reducing the amount of parking in the new development,” Mobility Lab said.

The excess parking suggests that Arlington residents are doing a decent job of finding alternative ways to get to work and travel around the region. Nearly 40 percent of residents in the surveyed buildings always use transit, the study said. But, nearly 60 percent still commonly drive alone, and car users are uniquely loyal to that mode of transportation.

One proposal from Mobility Lab suggested that apartment owners “unbundle” parking from rent, offering parking only to those who request and are willing to more pay for it. The report said that when parking is bundled, single occupancy vehicle use is 12.5% higher for commuters and as high as 40% for non-commute trips.

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