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.
March 9, 2009, 2pm PDT | Josh Stephens
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"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

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Published on Friday, March 6, 2009 in InTransition Magazine
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