Citywide Parking Study

Lowell Parking Study

Study Overview

The City of Lowell is using a Housing Choice Grant award from the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED) to conduct a comprehensive parking strategy.

The Lowell Parking Study will review and analyze existing parking conditions including parking inventory, utilization, policies, management, regulations, and pricing, and analyze the parking supply and demand compared to existing land uses. The Parking Study will help ensure that the parking system is consistent with the City’s economic development and transportation planning goals, including the ongoing GoLowell Multimodal Complete Streets plan.

Study Goals

  • Update Lowell’s parking system to reflect citywide policies and goals
  • Improve the parking experience in Lowell
  •  Adjust parking pricing to better manage demand and system costs
  •  Cater to City’s economic development needs by reducing parking congestion and promoting parking availability
  • Incentivize greater use of City’s parking garages
  • Streamline the City’s residential parking programs 
  • Update the city’s parking standards to better match Lowell’s economic development transportation goals with developer needs
  • Determine potential future parking needs to support growth in Downtown Lowell

Study Timeline

The study includes four tasks that began in fall 2020 and will continue through early summer 2021.
  1. Data collection and neighborhood evaluations began in fall 2020 and carried through to the first round of public engagement in February 2021.
  2. Operations and management evaluations started in winter 2021 and will continue into the spring.
  3. The first round of community and neighborhood outreach efforts occurred in February 2021. A second round of outreach, which will include a community meeting, will occur in the spring.
  4. The draft and final parking plans will be drafted and reviewed through spring 2021, with the final parking plan available in early summer.

Outreach Efforts

The project team held a virtual community meeting on February 2, 2021 to introduce the Parking Study and provide information about the study goals, share findings from a detailed parking inventory, summarize early observations, and gather feedback from attendees about parking issues and concerns and potential opportunities to improve parking in Lowell.

The project team held four virtual neighborhood meetings throughout February to provide additional information and gather feedback regarding neighborhood parking conditions. These neighborhood meetings involved breakout rooms for more specific feedback.

Online Survey

In addition to the feedback received from the virtual meetings, the team also received parking survey submissions from over 600 respondents.

Three quarters of respondents lived in Lowell and most visited Downtown Lowell on a frequent basis. Respondents indicated:
  • Paid, on-street metered parking spaces are the most popular places to park in Downtown Lowell
  • Parking close to their destination and safety and security considerations were most important in choosing a parking space.
  • Some neighborhoods allow for parking close to respondents’ homes while others require respondents to walk between their parked vehicle and their home.

Next Steps

The study team is developing strategies based off the data collection and evaluation exercises, incorporating feedback received at the community and neighborhood meetings as well as from the survey. A draft parking plan will be made available for public review in the spring, with presentations to City Council as well as a second community meeting. The final parking plan will address feedback from this public outreach and be released in early summer 2021.

Sign Up For Updates

To sign up for updates on the Lowell Parking Study here: .

Recorded Public Meetings

Parking Study Open House - February 2, 2021