Video: How Much Should Parking Cost?

Variable parking pricing can offer some of the same benefits as congestion pricing.

1 minute read

February 21, 2024, 10:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

A new video from City Beautiful explains how on-street parking in many cities is woefully underpriced—and how variable pricing could have similar effects to congestion pricing in reducing congestion and pollution. Aysha Khan describes the video in Next City.

As Khan explains, “Despite competing uses for these spaces – outdoor dining, bioswales, bike lanes, loading zones, widened sidewalks and so on – local governments rarely raise their parking prices to market rates, or rates that acknowledge the nominal and real costs of parking.” Cities offer low-cost parking to attract customers to local businesses, but more strategic pricing could help mitigate traffic issues, boost economic development, and reduce emissions.

In the video, Dave Amos explains that variable pricing can help manage demand and ensure there are enough parking spaces while discouraging unnecessary trips and raising revenue. “Amos points to a pilot program in San Franciso for variable parking pricing, which installed sensors at every meter and adjusted parking prices over time to ensure a 60 to 80% occupancy rate. By raising prices at peak periods, they achieved their occupancy goals and cut cruising rates in half, offering a promising model for other cities to follow.”

Wednesday, February 14, 2024 in Next City

Large blank mall building with only two cars in large parking lot.

Pennsylvania Mall Conversion Bill Passes House

If passed, the bill would promote the adaptive reuse of defunct commercial buildings.

April 18, 2024 - Central Penn Business Journal

Street scene in Greenwich Village, New York City with people walking through busy intersection and new WTC tower in background.

Planning for Accessibility: Proximity is More Important than Mobility

Accessibility-based planning minimizes the distance that people must travel to reach desired services and activities. Measured this way, increased density can provide more total benefits than increased speeds.

April 14, 2024 - Todd Litman

Rendering of wildlife crossing over 101 freeway in Los Angeles County.

World's Largest Wildlife Overpass In the Works in Los Angeles County

Caltrans will soon close half of the 101 Freeway in order to continue construction of the Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing near Agoura Hills in Los Angeles County.

April 15, 2024 - LAist

Facade of brick multistory apartment buildings in New York City with fire scapes.

New York Passes Housing Package Focused on New Development and Adaptive Reuse

The FY 2025 budget includes a new tax incentive, funding for affordable housing on state land, and support for adaptive reuse and ADUs.

5 minutes ago - Governor Kathy Hochul

"No 710" lawn sign on green lawn.

LA Metro Board Approves New 710 Freeway Plan

The newest plan for the 710 corridor claims it will not displace any residents.

April 22 - Streetsblog LA

Close-up of row of electric cars plugged into chargers at outdoor station.

Austin’s Proposed EV Charging Rules Regulate Station Locations, Size

City planners say the new rules would ensure an efficient distribution of charging infrastructure across the city and prevent an overconcentration in residential areas.

April 22 - Austin Monitor

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.