Parking Benefit Districts Around the U.S.

As Pittsburgh moves forward on a parking management program to fund neighborhood improvements, take a look at how other cities have adapted this Shoup-inspired redevelopment strategy.
May 2, 2016, 10am PDT | Elana Eden
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Franco Nadalin

Pittsburgh plans to extend parking meter hours in an area known for its nightlife, and put the added revenue toward public safety improvements and services.

Los Angeles is considering a pilot program to use meter revenue for transportation and streetscape improvements in the neighborhoods where it's generated.

These are only some of the most recent iterations of Parking Benefit Districts. Championed by UCLA Professor Donald Shoup, PBDs can vary in structure and size, but the underlying principle is relatively simple: Use revenue from parking meters to fund local improvements.

Keynote Crossroads compares PBDs in four U.S. cities to see how the basic concept can be adapted and refined to meet local needs. "A parking benefit district isn't just a revenue-raiser, but smart transportation management as well," the article notes.

And the effects can be transformative:

The prospect of a dedicated, ongoing local revenue stream for neighborhood projects becomes enticing enough to residents and businesses, and they become a countervailing force in support of parking meters. Those public improvements in turn attract even more visitors, which generates more parking revenue in a virtuous cycle of redevelopment.

Old Pasadena, also explored here, is a frequently cited success story.

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Published on Monday, March 28, 2016 in Keystone Crossroads
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