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City of Bozeman Parking Rate Occupancy Rate Study

Project #: 4W4084
Start Date: 07/01/2012
End Date: 10/31/2012
Status: Completed

The final report summarizes research by WTI to conduct parking occupancy rate studies in the downtown Bozeman area between July and September/October of 2012. The purpose of this project was to understand how parking spaces near Main Street were being utilized. When examined, occupancy rates shared a similar trend between all block groups, both on weekdays and weekends in general. Occupancy steadily increased throughout the morning and reached its peak for the day during the noon hour. This coincided with the lunch hour when downtown restaurants were likely to be heavily frequented. Following the midday peak, occupancy rates for most blocks fell throughout the afternoon before rising again to a second, evening peak. This second peak was typically lower than the one observed at midday. On-street parking occupancy rates were generally high, typically exceeding 60 to 70 percent throughout the day. In many cases, 80 to 90 percent occupancy rates were observed, and at some points, parking on certain block faces was 100 percent occupied.

High occupancy rates typically were not observed for off-street parking lots, with the exception of the Armory lot and the Willson lot across Mendenhall Street, where high occupancy was the norm throughout the day (generally above 60 percent for both lots).


The City of Bozeman’s downtown district possesses a number of parking resources. These include on-street parking, off-street parking lots, a parking garage, private (business) parking lots, and alley parking. In 2010, WTI conducted a project to provide the City with information regarding available parking inventory, turnover, and occupancy rates, as well as the state of the practice in managing parking resources in downtown areas.

Following the initial study, the Parking Commission requested additional information on occupancy rates for specific street blocks and parking lots. The previous work established initial occupancy rates in the study area. This project was designed to provide follow-up information regarding what changes in occupancy rates occurred in the years after the initial study. The approach consisted of conducting vehicle counts throughout the day and evening on six separate days during the summer of 2012, in order to establish daytime and evening parking trends.


The objective of this project was to conduct a parking occupancy rate study for a specific area of downtown Bozeman, Montana, to provide the City of Bozeman with information regarding occupancy rates.