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Glossary of Parking Terms


Automatic Pay Station – A machine that accepts payment and validates pay-parking access tickets without cashier assistance. These machines accept bills or coins. These machines are also known as "Pay-On-Foot."

Accessory Parking – For the purposes of these documents, accessory parking spaces are those built on-site to support access to a specific building or complex of buildings.

Bike Share – Is a service in which bicycles are made available for shared use to individuals on a very short term basis.

Benchmark – A standard or point of reference against which things may be compared or assessed.

Carsharing – A program in which a fleet of cars are utilized by members of car rental system, which provides members the short-term use of a car as needed, eliminating the need to own a personal vehicle.

Citation – A written instrument, usually generated by a hand-held computer, which documents the circumstances of a parking violation and the charges owed, if any, to the department. People often refer to a citation as a ticket.

Controlled Access Facility – Any surface lot or parking garage that requires an access device or dispenses a ticket to gain access.

Demand Management and Transportation Demand Management/ TDM – A set of strategies designed to influence the mode-choice, frequency, timing, route-selection, or trip-length of travel behavior to promote efficient and sustainable use of transportation resources.

Enforcement – The portion of this department charged with the execution of the parking rules and regulations as determined by the administrators of this department. Persons often associated with this area of the department include but are not limited to: parking services officers, dispatch, and SCAN officers.

EV Charging – Infrastructure that supplies electric energy for the recharging of plug-in electric vehicles, including all-electric cars, neighborhood electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids.

Gross Floor Area/ GFA – The area within the perimeter of the outside walls of a building, frequently utilized in determining the number of parking spaces to accommodate particular uses.

Handicap Access Aisle – An area adjacent to a handicap parking space usually marked with striped lines. These areas should remain clear of vehicles and obstacles at all times to provide easy access for disabled individuals entering and exiting their vehicles.

Handicap Parking Space – Usually designated by the universal handicap symbol on a sign posted in front of the space. These areas provide parking on campus to any vehicle displaying a handicap permit.

In Lieu Fee – For the purposes of these documents, an in lieu fee is an amount of money a developer pays the government in the place of build a parking facility to serve his or her development.

Load Zone – A type of on-street space usually found in front of (or near) businesses and apartment buildings that allows short-term use (such as 3 minutes or 30 minutes) for loading and unloading (such as to drop off or pick-up passengers). Parking is not allowed in load zones, and violation of the terms of the load zone puts you at risk of a ticket, or in some cases, being towed.

Lot – Uncovered parking area.

Lot-sharing Agreement – An agreement between the owner of a parking facility (usually a privately-owned or pay lot, or the parking garage of an institution such as a hospital or business) and one of more clients (such as a business, a church, or a community organization) that allows the client to use the parking facility under certain terms. For instance, a church may have a lot-sharing agreement with a nearby hospital that church-goers may park in the hospital lot on Sunday mornings without risk of being ticketed or towed. Many times the client pays a fee to the owner of the parking facility as part of the agreement.

Mitigation Report – Mitigation reports define the impact of changes on parking supply and provide complementary solutions such as space relocation, striping or closure.

Multi-space Meters – A device used to manage several parking spaces in a one-block area, particularly in regards to collecting any fees associated with parking in a particular space.

Off-setting Peaks – A mix of land uses, such as office with daytime workers, and restaurants with evening patrons, that creates high levels of demand for parking at different times throughout the day.

Pay-and-Display – Visitors pay hourly fees at the Pay-and-Display machine and display printed receipt on their dashboard.

Pay-on-Foot– Visitors pay at a payment machine before returning to their vehicle and receive a ticket that to insert into the exit station upon departion.

Parking Guidance – A parking guidance system is an automatic electronic system which presents updated information to drivers entering a parking area and helps to direct them to available parking spots, in order to ease congestion and save time. Features of these systems vary; they can include simple signals such as a meter indicating the number of free spots, or more advanced guidance systems using lights to direct each driver to the most convenient available spot.

Parking Facility– Generally defined as a building, structure, land, used or used for off-street parking of motor vehicles. This may be expanded to include bicycles.

Performance Pricing – Parking Pricing means that motorists pay directly for using parking facilities. Parking Pricing may be implemented as a TDM strategy (to reduce vehicle traffic), as a Parking Management strategy (to reduce parking problems), to recover parking facility costs, to generate revenue for other purposes (such as a Transportation Management Association or downtown improvement district), or for a combination of these objectives.

Public Parking – For the purposes of these documents, this term refers to parking that is not restricted to the tenants or visitors of any building or complex of buildings.

Reserved Parking – For the purposes of these documents, this term refers to spaces that are set aside specifically for certain users, rather than spaces that can be used by anyone.

Shared Parking – For purposes of this report, shared parking is defined as parking that is available as public parking during specified periods of time.

Standing – A condition where a vehicle is stopped but attended by the operator. Standing vehicles are usually found where the vehicle operator is waiting to load/unload passengers or cargo in an area not approved for parking.

TDM (Transportation Demand Management) – A practice that reduces the demand placed on a transportation network of a neighborhood, city, or region. Reducing the demand is often easier and less expensive than increasing the capacity or structure of the network (i.e., than building more roads). TDM programs encourage people to get to where they need to go, but to consider modes of transportation other than driving alone (as an SOV trip), or to make trips during non-peak times (i. e., times other than rush hour). Other modes that are encouraged commonly include carpooling, vanpooling, busing and transit, car-sharing, bicycling, and walking. TDM is also called "Transportation Conservation."

Unbundling – For purposes of this report, unbundling refers to the offering of parking spaces as an option that is distinct from the purchase or lease of a dwelling unit. Typically a standardized number of parking spaces are included with a home, whether rented or sold. This hides costs of owning a car for the resident, and removes an opportunity for residents to reduce their housing costs by reducing their parking needs.

Transit – Refers to all mass transportation systems such as buses, light rail, commuter rail, and monorail.

Utilization (Parking) – A measure of the number of cars parked relative to the number of parking spaces.

Variable Pricing – For the purposes of this report, variable pricing means that the cost associated with a certain good or service, in this case parking, changes depending upon the location of the parking and the amount of time a person would be allowed to park in that location.

Parking Management · Montgomery County Department of Transportation · 240-777-8740 · Fax: 240-777-8720 · 100 Edison Park Dr · 4th Floor · Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878 · mcdot.parking@montgomerycountymd.gov
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