The U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recently developed a tool to help cities help their drivers find parking and stop circling–after all, circling for parking creates a lot of downtown traffic. The first thing they did was study all that circling. And what they found was surprising:

The top line finding is that cities have likely overestimated their parking search problem by abstracting from the areas known anecdotally to be the worst. In spite of the myth that 30 percent of traffic is circling for parking, we find that the percentage of trips that include excess parking search is between 5 percent in Ann Arbor and 7 percent in Seattle. These lower rates don’t mean that cruising isn’t a problem, but rather is less universally one than previously thought. That’s good because it also means that cruising is likely more solvable through targeted measures.

That’s from their article about their study and their new tool in this month’s Parking & Mobility magazine–and there’s more, including an upcoming, free webinar with FHWA experts and researchers for IPMI members.  With the accepted number of 30 perhaps being as low as five, we think you might not want to miss either.