Cities Begin To Rethink Parking Policies

Three years after the publication of The High Cost of Free Parking, Prof. Don Shoup's work has begun to take hold across the country. Cities from San Francisco to Washington, DC, are starting to curb traffic and recognize the true cost of parking.

"Shoup contends that many cities, hamstrung by convention, superstition and guidelines hearkening back to the halcyon days of suburban sprawl, have been giving away their most valuable real estate: parking spaces. Shoup has waged a campaign to convince cities to revolutionize their parking policies, from charging higher meter prices to allowing communal lots to reducing sacrosanct minimum parking requirements. Such efforts, he says, could speed the flow of traffic, encourage denser development, rehabilitate pedestrian environments and even make it easier to find a place to park. Now, four years after his book's publication, cities across America are devising ways to stop parking in its tracks."

"Leading the pack is San Francisco, where the new SFPark program has received $23 million in federal funding. SFPark takes nearly the entire suite of Shoupisms to heart and is implementing them in an 18-month pilot project that will apply to 7,000 curbside and over 11,000 off-street spaces. It will rely heavily on cutting-edge meter and data-gathering technology to adjust rates and reduce congestion."

Thanks to Josh Stephens

Full Story: Putting Parking into Reverse

Comments

Comments

In Regards to "Putting Parking Into Reverse"

This article offers great insight about the negative consequences created by the minimum rather than maximum parking spaces required for new developments. By decreasing the amount of parking spaces, increasing the costs to park in parking spaces, and requiring a maximum amount of parking spaces per new development, cities will be able to reclaim the public space that is currently being used up by public parking.

While I agree with all of the parking tenants Dr. Shoup prescribes in order to discourage the use of automobiles, I question what happens in a city that does not have an efficient public transit system that is able to transport citizens in a effective and timely manner? While progressive cities like San Francisco have been quick to enact as many of Dr. Shoup’s parking tenants as possible, San Francisco has a successful public transit system to rely on to effectively transport citizens around its city. Los Angeles on the other hand may be enacting some of Dr. Shoup’s tenants but only for the sake of easing street congestion and raising revenue. With urban sprawl in Los Angeles, all areas within Los Angeles County are poorly connected by public transit, for its inaccessibility and its exposure to private automobile congestion. While this article defends that by eliminating free parking that urban sprawl will be put to a halt, this solution provides no means of alternate transportation and therefore cannot be as successful in Los Angeles than in a high-density city like San Francisco. Due to this reason I feel that it is important that cities like Los Angeles that direly need to decrease the use of their automobiles in order to become more sustainable enact as many of Dr. Shoup’s parking tenants as possible in conjunction to creating an effective and efficient mass transportation system in order to become a sustainable, pedestrian oriented society.

Matthew Kurtz

http://sustainablelosangeles.blogspot.com/

Chicken and egg...

'With urban sprawl in Los Angeles, all areas within Los Angeles County are poorly connected by public transit, for its inaccessibility and its exposure to private automobile congestion. While this article defends that by eliminating free parking that urban sprawl will be put to a halt, this solution provides no means of alternate transportation and therefore cannot be as successful in Los Angeles than in a high-density city like San Francisco.'

First I think many would argue that while Los Angeles County overall is poorly served by transit there are many areas within the county that do have good (not great) transit service. The idea is to use parking controls within those denser well served areas, to begin a transition from complete auto-dependency to partial dependency. Examples include Downtown, Koreatown, Mid-Wilshire area, West Hollywood, Hollywood, East LA, Santa Monica, and Westwood Village among others. According to Shoup's theories the structured parking in those areas is overpriced BECAUSE streetparking is underpriced. So 1) increased street parking cost will reduce structured parking prices due to increased demand. 2) incrementally people will choose available transit on occassion over car use 3)parking funds over an above existing revenue should be directed back to pedestrian improvements 4)increased transit usage encourages increased transit investment.

London uses single meters for multiple spaces, and parking tolls are higher int he center than in the outer central areas. The traffic is also bad. the result is that many people coming in from the suburbs choose a favorite outlying station and ride the tube the rest of the way in. In Los Angeles there is nothing keeping auto users from driving to a destination half way between a poorly served area, and their eventual destination, and completing the trip by existing Rapidbus (not all transit needs to be rail based).

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