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Comprehensive Land Use and Regional Growth Projects

Smart Growth Trip Generation and Parking Study

Smart growth developments are generally perceived to generate fewer auto trips and less demand for parking as compared to conventional developments due to an increased number of trips via transit, walking, or bicycling. Current trip generation and parking supply guidelines are based on conventional suburban development, perhaps imposing a burden on developers and jurisdictions to provide more roadway and parking capacity than is necessary. Application of identified trip generation and parking demand rates appropriate for smart growth development could result in cost savings for jurisdictions, developers, homebuyers, and renters.

SANDAG prepared Trip Generation for Smart Growth: Planning Tools for the San Diego Region and Parking Strategies for Smart Growth: Planning Tools for the San Diego Region to identify trip generation rates and parking demand associated with smart growth developments.

The trip generation and parking demand guidelines update the SANDAG San Diego Traffic Generators Manual, a guide to trip generation rates in the San Diego region, and Designing for Smart Growth: Planning Tools for the San Diego region, smart growth design guidelines published by SANDAG in 2009. The guidelines are available for jurisdictions to use in local planning efforts.

The guidelines address the following questions:

1. Does smart growth development result in lower trip generation rates and decreased parking demand as compared to traditional development? If so, what rates have been observed?
2. What are the characteristics of smart growth development that account for identified reductions in trip generation and parking demand?
3. Can identified trip generation rates and reductions in parking demand associated with smart growth development in other regions be applied in the San Diego region?

Trip Generation for Smart Growth is accompanied by an interactive Excel spreadsheet tool designed to assist users in calculating trip reduction rates for individual smart growth developments or smart growth planning areas. The spreadsheet can be completed by the user on his or her own, or data can be provided by SANDAG Service Bureau for a fee.

Trip Generation for Smart Growth
Parking Strategies for Smart Growth
Smart Growth Trip Generation Spreadsheet Tool

Project Manager

Christine Eary, Associate Regional Planner
Phone: (619) 699-6928, Email:

For media inquiries, please contact the SANDAG Public Information Office at (619) 699-1950 or

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