The Dilemma of On-Street Parking Policy: Exploring Cruising for Parking Using an Agent-Based Model

Karel Martens, Itzhak Benenson*, Nadav Levy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Virtually all major cities around the world face severe parking problems in their centers. While existing models of parking search and choice behavior do provide insight into the basic dynamics of parking in cities, as well as into the phenomenon of drivers cruising for on-street parking, virtually all models discussed in the literature ignore a number of key factors that influence parking behavior and parking dynamics. This paper makes a first step in this direction, by proposing a non-spatial model of parking search and an explicit geosimulation model of the parking process, termed PARKAGENT, which accounts for street network, drivers’ decisions and their destination. We employ both models to analyze the phenomena of cruising for parking and compare the models’ outcomes, focusing on the impact of space on parking dynamics. We estimate the main characteristics of these dynamics, and specify the conditions under which spatial effects are, or are not, important for analyzing parking. In particular, we demonstrate that traffic engineers’ recommendation that about 15% of all on-street parking places should remain vacant to ensure easy ingress and egress and prevent cruising for parking can be decreased to 7% and even less, especially in case of relatively low parking turnover levels. The paper ends with a short discussion, in which we explore the implications of our model study for establishing urban parking policies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGeoJournal Library
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages18
StatePublished - 2010

Publication series

NameGeoJournal Library
ISSN (Print)0924-5499
ISSN (Electronic)2215-0072


  • Agent-based modeling
  • Cruising for parking
  • Parking modeling
  • Parking search
  • Transportation modeling


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