I just finished my review of Don Shoup’s book, The High Cost of Free Parking. Its great. Read the review in June’s Parking Today.
But there is a bit of the flavor of the book that crept in and I will discuss that here. It seems more appropriate, somehow.
Throughout the book Don comments that the automobile is destroying society and eventually the world. He notes that we need to cut back on cars, and the best way to do it is to ensure that the cost to park them dissuades many to walk or ride public transit or live near their jobs. Throughout the text there are little comments by university types and others about the negative impact of the automobile.
So we have green oriented college profs finally discovering that the only way to truly affect things is to let the free market do its thing. That the diddling by government (requiring developers build parking and subsidizing parking on and off street) had a tremendously negative effect on the situation.
Just think what might have happened had government not stuck their urban planning fingers in the parking business. Developers would have built buildings and then figured out how to get the people to them. Perhaps they would have built apartments and condos nearby. Perhaps they would have subsidized rapid transit. Who knows.
And if the cities had not subsidized on street parking and charged what the market required, Automobiles would not be so pervasive in the central cities. People would use them for week end trips, or to cruise Hollywood Blvd on Saturday night. But the ubiquitous automobile would be no more.
Not!!! What would have really happened is that probably about 25% of the people would have made an adjustment to other ways of transportation and the rest of us would have more room on the roads.
Now, we are going to have to go through some sort of paradigm shift to reduce the traffic and get some sanity back into our central city traffic issues.