Somerville Parking & Curb Policy Study
Successful implementation of these strategies will lead Somerville to a curb future which supports community goals of livability, sustainability, equity, and economic growth.
Located outside of Boston, Somerville is one of the nation’s densest municipalities. The City increasingly plays a central role in the economic strength of the Boston metropolitan area and has received national recognition as a model for municipal innovation and progressive planning. With the imminent arrival of a new rapid transit line, the Green Line Extension, the City sought to update residential and commercial parking policies to reflect the new mobility ecosystem.
The first step to update parking policy was to fully inventory existing regulations, assets, and demands at the curb. Nelson\Nygaard worked with the City to conduct a full inventory and analysis of curbside regulations and demands using the Coord curb data collection platform. Nelson\Nygaard led field data collection of 200 miles of curb to assemble an inventory of signage and street features on every block in the city, thereby creating a full inventory of curb regulations. Nelson\Nygaard also collected parking occupancy counts in key locations throughout the city to understand the demand for both residential and commercial parking.
As a second phase of this work, Nelson\Nygaard led a Parking and Curb Policy Study to develop short and long-term strategies to improve parking management, reduce parking demand generated by new development, prioritize curb space for non-parking uses, and reimagine the resident permit parking system. This study included a robust public engagement effort to vet proposed strategies. Key recommendations emerging from this effort include improved curb enforcement protocols and technology investments, new pricing and limits on parking permits, and investments in transportation demand management and multimodal infrastructure to offset and reduce parking impacts.