Unlocking the Curb Conundrum: How to Solve Our Parking Crisis

For Alan Durning, curb-parking territoriality is the root cause of many of America's urban ills, from housing affordability to economic vitality. He describes the circumstances that've led to the current state of affairs and introduces the way out.
July 21, 2013, 7am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"Curb parking, it seems, is the stuff of neighborhood psy-ops. It brings out the crazy in people. And that fact — our intense, animalistic territoriality about curb parking — is among the fundamental realities of urban politics," writes Durning. "It’s a root cause, I argue, of most of what’s wrong with how cities manage parking. And much is wrong with how cities manage parking. Consequently, somehow defusing or counteracting this territoriality could release a cascade of good news, if it allows cities to manage parking better. Parking policy is a secret key to solving urban problems ranging from housing affordability to traffic, from economic vitality to carbon pollution — plus a snarl of other ills."

Inspired by parking guru Donald Shoup, Durning summarizes the way out:  

  1. Charge the right prices for curb parking spaces,
  2. Return the resulting revenue to the neighborhoods from which it was collected, and then,
  3. Repeal off-street parking requirements.


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Published on Friday, July 19, 2013 in Grist
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