California Considers Full-Cost Parking Bill

Having stalled in the state Senate last June, a bill that aims to "reduc(e) governmental or government-required subsidies for parking" passed out of the senate on Jan. 28. Parking strategies would be eligible for cap & trade credits under the bill.

The bill focuses on providing incentives for municipalities to reduce subsidies to parking, including reducing or eliminating 'minimum parking requirements'. Funding of 'transportation demand management' measures would be available from the Highway Users Account.

For more specifics, see the Jan. 27 legislative analysis.

The bill is opposed by the influential League of CA Cities, California State Association of Counties, and California Building Association.

"Free parking has significant social, economic and environmental costs," (State Senator) Lowenthal said. "It increases congestion and greenhouse gas emissions."

"Republicans opposed the measure, saying the Legislature should not be meddling in how much people pay to park.

The bill, supported by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC, also the bill sponsor) and the Sierra Club, provides financial incentives for cities and counties to stop providing free parking on the street and at government offices and to reduce the amount they require businesses to provide.

When a store provides free parking, the cost to maintain, clean, insure, secure and light the parking lot is passed on to shoppers in higher prices for goods, said Justin Horner, an analyst with the NRDC. Free street parking is paid for by the entire community in the form of higher taxes, he said."

Thanks to Roundup

Full Story: State lawmakers take aim at free parking



Socialism for Republicans

""Republicans opposed the measure, saying the Legislature should not be meddling in how much people pay to park."

Currently, most zoning laws require developers to provide the amount of parking that is demanded when parking is free. But I have never heard Republican politicians complaining about those zoning laws, or about the government building freeways.

Their policy seems to be: capitalism for the rest of the economy, socialism for the automobile.

Charles Siegel

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