PLD and TMD Program Descriptions

Parking Lot District (PLD)

Montgomery County, through its Parking Lot District (PLD) program, operates more than half of the public (publicly available) parking in three of its largest central business districts: Bethesda, Silver Spring and Wheaton. These public inventories provide a shared pool of parking resources for the benefit of all area businesses, patrons, and commuters. They also provide a viable alternative to on-site parking requirements in return for payment of an annual Ad Valorem tax that provides significant program funding underwriting PLD costs. Additionally, the County’s large parking market share provides numerous opportunities to mitigate traffic levels, effect commuter patterns, and promote alternative transportation modes, including the use of parking revenues to market and provide transit services and benefits.

The PLD program is perhaps the longest standing program of its kind, and remains a leading example of effective parking management district (PMD) implementation — a strategy that both streamlines and maximizes the value of area parking supplies by incorporating as many spaces as possible into a shared parking resource. One of the most important objectives for most PMDs is to preserve traditional, dense, mixed-use centers from conventional development requirements for on-site accessory parking facilities. By providing a shared resource, the small-lot and infill development projects characteristic of these areas can thrive. And by sharing parking resources, collective parking needs can be met with fewer spaces overall, allowing these centers to continue to provide dense, walkable, multi-modal alternatives to typical, parking-oriented suburban centers.

In addition, effective PMD implementation can provide:

  • A sense of formality and permanence to shared-parking resources, allowing developers (and their lenders) to rely upon them to reduce their on-site parking needs.
  • Capacity to manage parking demand via centralized control over policies and pricing.
  • Capacity to capture and direct parking revenues toward local investments.
  • Capacity to manage the design and functionality of primary parking facilities, including facility and access-point location to minimize conflict with predominant automobile, transit, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic patterns.
  • More welcoming conditions for customers and visitors — fewer "Thou Shalt Not Park Here" signs throughout the district.
  • Re-captured land and redevelopment opportunities, supporting the general tax base.


Montgomery County currently has three PLDs – Bethesda, Silver Spring and Wheaton – all created between 1947 and 1951. Combined, these districts provide over 20,000 public parking spaces. Each PLD has its own “enterprise” fund separate from the County’s general fund. In addition to revenues from the Ad Valorem tax, each enterprise fund also receives all public parking revenue collected within the PLD boundaries — from individual meters, electronic pay stations, cashiered facilities, sale of parking permits, parking fines, etc.


PLD funds can be used to finance mixed-use development project within PLDs. PLD funds are also used to support additional County programs that provide and promote transit services and alternative mode benefits. PLD revenues are re-directed into other County programs, including:

  • Urban Districts — Sidewalks, lighting, etc., in Bethesda, Silver Spring, and Wheaton.
  • Transportation Management Districts — carpooling and transit benefits in Bethesda and Silver Spring.
  • The Montgomery County Mass Transit Fund.

Transportation Management Districts (TMDs)

Transportation Management Districts (TMDs) provide concentrated services to encourage the use of transit and other commuting options in Montgomery County's major business districts.

TMDs have four broad goals:

  • Cut traffic congestion
  • Increase transportation capacity
  • Reduce air and noise pollution
  • Promote bicycle and pedestrian access

Click here to learn more about TMD's.