Proposed Motion

The Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) votes to approve this work program.

Project Identification

Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) Classification

Boston Region MPO Planning Studies and Technical Analyses

Project Number 13806


Boston Region MPO

Project Supervisors

Principal: Rebecca Morgan
Manager: Rosemary McCarron

Funding Source

MPO Combined PL and §5303 Contract #118967

Schedule and Budget

Schedule: 7 months after work commences

Budget: $80,000

Schedule and budget details are shown in Exhibits 1 and 2, respectively.

Relationship to MPO Goals

The Boston Region MPO elected to fund this study with its federally allocated metropolitan planning funds during federal fiscal year (FFY) 2023. The work completed through this study will address the following goal areas established in the MPO’s Long-Range Transportation Plan: capacity management and mobility, clean air and clean communities, transportation equity, and economic vitality.


The Boston region is experiencing a boom in laboratory and life sciences development. With prices for the necessary real estate rising, development in this category has begun to spread from longstanding centers such as Kendall Square in Cambridge to a diverse set of areas across the region. The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) and Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS) have heard from numerous stakeholders, especially municipal planners, across the region that there is a need for rigorous research to determine parameters for parking regulation for such developments. MAPC and CTPS propose collaborating on a research study to assess regional parking demand and use at commercial and mixed-use developments, with a particular focus on lab and life science facilities.

This project will provide foundational research on the lab and life sciences developments in the region and how the characteristics of these sites and their occupants influence transportation and parking demand. Proceeding from the basis of this research, the study team will adapt MAPC’s Perfect Fit Parking research, which assessed regional parking demand and use at multifamily housing developments, to measure parking utilization at lab and life sciences developments. This methodology will account for specific characteristics of these developments that may include lower worker density per square foot and work hours that do not always fit a 9-to-5 model.

This study will generate a better understanding of the operational characteristics of these developments and how they interact with commercial parking policy. Development of a methodology to assess parking utilization based on these characteristics will support future data collection and analysis that can help prevent the oversupply of parking at new developments. Developers, municipal planners, and policymakers will be able to use the results of this study as guidance when determining appropriate parking supply.


Objective 1: Gain a better understanding of the growing lab and life sciences industry in the Boston region. Communicate with stakeholders and those with industry knowledge to learn more about the travel behavior of the workforce and its impacts on regional transportation systems.

Objective 2: Expand upon MAPC’s Perfect Fit Parking study, which focused on residential parking, to develop a methodology to study supply of and demand for parking at lab and life science facilities.

Work Description

Task 1  Parking Policy Review and Case Studies

CTPS will gather information about the expanding lab and life sciences industry in the Boston region. CTPS will also conduct a parking policy review to investigate how local municipalities and municipalities across the country regulate parking at lab and life science facilities.

Subtask 1.1 Growth of Lab and Life Sciences in Massachusetts

CTPS will explore resources such as MassBio and others to understand important trends in the lab and life sciences industry in the region. CTPS will investigate where existing facilities are located, plans for future lab development, and which companies are driving this growth. These findings will be supplemented with known transportation accessibility information in the region to gain a clearer picture of trip generation in this context. This information will allow us to answer the following questions:

CTPS will create a map of existing and proposed facilities, as well as transportation infrastructure in surrounding areas, to help visualize this information.

Subtask 1.2 Parking Policy Review

CTPS will research both local Massachusetts municipalities and municipalities across the country to learn more about their parking requirements and other parking-related policies that apply to labs or similar commercial uses. CTPS will also review existing trip generation and parking rate guidance provided by the Institute of Transportation Engineers.

Products of Task 1

Locations of existing and future lab and life sciences facilities

Summary of relevant parking policies

Task 2  Interviews with Stakeholders and Industry Experts

CTPS will engage with regional and statewide stakeholders and those with knowledge of the lab and life sciences industry in Massachusetts to learn more about the specific parking opportunities and challenges.

CTPS will interview municipal planners, developers, building managers,  and others to gain insight into the travel and parking patterns of those who work in the facilities in the study area. CTPS will ensure the engagement represents a variety of different community types. Questions of interest include the following:

Product of Task 2

An internal memo summarizing key findings from Tasks 1 and 2.

Task 3  Development of Data Collection and Analysis Methodology

CTPS will take the information gathered from the previous two tasks and apply it to the development of a detailed and robust guide for data collection and analysis.

Subtask 3.1 Designation of Potential Study Locations

Based on the literature review and interviews conducted in the previous tasks, a number of sites will be selected for future data collection. These sites should be representative of lab and life sciences facilities in the Boston region, which vary in size, access to transit, populations served, and types of parking structures available. The number of sites chosen should be large enough to achieve that representation, but not so large that it becomes infeasible to collect the data needed.

Subtask 3.2 Data Collection Materials

CTPS will determine the methodology for collecting data and produce materials for the data collectors to use during their collection. The foundational research completed in Tasks 1 and 2 will inform these materials. To develop these materials CTPS will consider the following:

Subtask 3.3 Develop Methodology for Analysis

CTPS will develop a methodology for analyzing parking supply and demand for lab and life science facilities in the Boston region. The analysis method will include descriptive statistics and potentially a statistical model to describe the relationships between different variables that could influence parking utilization.

Products of Task 3

List of potential data collection sites

Data collection materials

Preliminary data analysis methodology

Task 4  Project Documentation

CTPS will produce a technical memorandum that summarizes the findings from the study and recommends a methodology for conducting parking utilization studies at lab and life science facilities.

Product of Task 4

Technical memorandum

Exhibit 1
Lab and Municipal Parking Study

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Parking Policy Review and Case Studies
From Month 1, Week 1 to Month 2, Week 2.
Interviews with Stakeholders and Industry Experts
From Month 2, Week 1 to Month 4, Week 3.
Development of Data Collection and Analysis Methodology
From Month 4, Week 2 to Month 6, Week 4.
Project Documentation
From Month 1, Week 1 to Month 7, Week 4.
A: Technical memorandum

Exhibit 2
Lab and Municipal Parking Study

Direct Salary and Overhead


Person-Weeks Direct
M-1 P-2 Total
Parking Policy Review and Case Studies
1.2 5.0 6.2 $8,425 $10,054 $18,479
Interviews with Stakeholders and Industry Experts
2.0 7.0 9.0 $12,298 $14,677 $26,975
Development of Data Collection and Analysis Methodology
1.2 7.0 8.2 $10,904 $13,013 $23,916
Project Documentation
1.2 2.0 3.2 $4,846 $5,783 $10,630
5.7 21.0 26.7 $36,473 $43,527 $80,000

Other Direct Costs



MPO Combined PL and §5303 Contract #118967


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