Parking and Prices

This video from Streetfilms looks into parking and explores why underpriced parking can be bad for cities.

The film is part of a series about transportation in cities called "Moving Beyond the Automobile".

Full Story: MBA: The Right Price for Parking




I can't decide if the folks who came up with this brilliant or living in an alternate universe with different rules of human behavior. Certainly lowering prices in public garages is a brilliant idea. Folks don't want to use a garage if it's going to cost them $20+ for the first hour (think New York and downtown Chicago).

But unless I'm missing something, the business with the parking meters seems out of this world. It sounds like they think drivers are going to check their smart phones to find the nearest space -- something they shouldn't be doing while driving (the accident rate will rise substantially given past history -- checking for available parking spaces while driving is pretty much like texting while driving). And they seem to think that drivers will park a block or more further from where they want to park because the rate is a little less there. I don't think so. Human nature doesn't work that way. Then again, drivers allegedly will drive great distances to save a few cents per gallon on gas (an assertion that is highly questionable).

I guess we'll just have to see how this works out. Aside from the lower parking prices in public garages, it's hard to figure out any positives from this experiment. But you never know.....

Daniel Lauber, AICP
AICP President 2003-2005, 1992-1994
APA President 1985-1986

Pricing Parking

As you say, we will see how it works out.

I think the cell phone app is high-tech showiness. I find that people are very impressed when I mention it.

The important thing is to price the spaces correctly, so there are one or two vacant metered spaces per block. With a vacant space on every block, you don't really need the phone app to help you find a space. Just look around you.

If you set prices high enough, you should get those vacant spaces.

Charles Siegel

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