Conserving Resources: Michigan's Carpool Lots

Program Background MDOT carpool parking sign in Marquette County.
The Michigan Carpool Parking Lot Program was initiated during the energy crisis of the early 70s. At that time, the scarcity of fuel accompanied by rising transportation costs encouraged many motorists to begin carpooling on a wide-scale basis. Lacking adequate and convenient parking facilities, carpoolers parked alongside roads, on private property or in commercial parking lots. Potential safety problems associated with roadside parking prompted the development of the Michigan Carpool Parking Lot Program, an effort to provide safe and convenient parking facilities for Michigan's carpoolers. With the establishment of this program the department made a commitment to the conservation of limited energy resources while responding to the needs of the state's travelers. Subsequent concern with air quality and congestion has led to continued program expansion and the systematic improvement of existing facilities.

The Michigan Carpool Parking Lot Program began as a pilot program in 1974 with 11 carpool parking lots. Today there are 235 carpool parking lots located across the state providing nearly 9,000 parking spaces. Approximately 3,900 vehicles park in these facilities on an average weekday. The program continues to grow as new lots are constructed and existing lots are improved.