Essential to making decisions regarding the best management of parking resources in Amherst are parking studies, which evaluate where there may be parking surpluses that can be utilized, and where there are parking deficits to be filled.

Here find links to parking studies for Amherst dating back to 1969, presented in Adobe Acrobat PDF format.  You may download Adobe’s Acrobat reader for practically any computer from:  GetAdobeReader

The most recent of these studies was done in 1999, at the time of the construction of the Amherst parking garage.  It has been five years and a new parking study needs to be done, as the impact of this improvement has never been evaluated.

Since this most recent parking study, meter stays have been lengthened and parking fines have been increased, both based on guesses regarding the correct management of this complex system.

After reading over 100 pages of these reports I have become more sympathetic to the problems of parking in Amherst, and I do see that a fairly consistent management has been maintained over the years.  It has only been since the construction of the Amherst parking garage, and the disbandment of the Amherst Parking Commission, that this situation has deteriorated into attempting to resolve long term parking issues by over-policing current visitors to the downtown area.  I believe that by serving on this reinstated commission I can continue the good work that has come before, and facilitate the process of creating new parking and managing the existing parking inventory.

The starting point to understand parking in Amherst is the Parking Map.

The most recent, useful, and comprehensive report was written by the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission in 1999.  The ultimate conclusion of this report is that there is an increasing parking deficit in downtown Amherst that could be relieved with a combination of the then proposed parking garage and the use of shuttle busses from parking lots outside the center.  As far as I have seen, the parking garage as-built has offered little relief to the downtown parking problem, and use of the shuttle busses have not been implemented.
Parking Study Draft 1999.pdf

Notably, this report recognizes the increase in Office Space 45.4% and Restaurant Seating of 35.0% with an increase in parking spaces of only 0.35% between 1984 and 1997.  We must create more parking spaces!
Parking Demand Calculations 1997.pdf

This 1997 report recognizes the increase in office space in Amherst over the years and proposed the permit system that has been implemented.
Parking Demand by Block.pdf

In 1996 the Amherst Planning Department compiled a report compiling 30 years of reports that came before.  It was their expectation that this report be expanded with further research.  This contains many stopgap solutions suggested over the years some of which have been implemented.
Town Center Parking Report.pdf

This document compares parking inventory against parking demand.  This report, complied in 1997, and containing data going back to 1977, contains 20 pages of tables, and can be summarized by saying, we needed more parking then, and the situation is getting worse.
Comparative Parking Demand Factors.pdf

This Comparative Demand report is only really useful with a downtown parcels map so you can see where the parking deficits are.  I am trying to get a digital version of this to post.