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Parking Limit Boosts Bike Riding In German Suburb

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A draft version of "A Tale of Two Eco-Suburbs in Freiburg, Germany: Parking Provision and Car Use" from the 2010 Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting has been added to the Best Practices.

This paper by Andrea Broaddus of the University of California, Berkeley, Department of City and Regional Planning compares two “eco-suburbs” of Freiburg, Germany. Riselfeld and Vauban were created over the last 10 years. Both are transit-oriented developments designed as family-friendly live-work-play places, composed of mixed-use commercial and residential buildings meeting ecological best practice. Both suburbs have a similarly high density and are located are about 3 km from the city center with excellent transit and bicycling connections.

The only difference is the provision of automobile parking. Rieselfeld followed the German convention of one parking spot per residence, whereas in Vauban parking was unbundled from housing in terms of cost and location, with parking spots provided at construction cost in garages on the periphery of the  district.

The study found strong demand for this pedestrian-, bicycle-oriented housing. Fewer households in Vauban owned cars, and car-owning households were observed to drive less often. Travel behavior data showed that residents of Rieselfeld had higher rates of transit use in an otherwise typical modal split, while Vauban’s residents had extremely low car share and high bicycle share. These differences were attributed in part to Vauban’s more restrictive parking policies.

"This paper describes a German re-invention of the suburb as a high density, mixed-use place where cars are hardly used and children and low-consumption lifestyles can flourish. Implemented on a large scale, these 'eco-suburbs' offer empirical evidence of demand for pedestrian-, bicycle- and transit-oriented housing, and reduced car use by the residents who choose them," explains the author.

A Tale of Two Eco-Suburbs in Freiburg, Germany: Parking Provision and Car Use