Anti Shoup Dog…

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Anti Shoup Dog…

I mentioned the blog that took out on Don Shoup in my post below, so I thought it was fair that you should be able to read the whole thing. Go Here. This little column started the following back and forth between yours truly and blogger Charles Tarlow. For this to make any sense, you should probably read his blog first:

Charles:

But…Do you have a solution to the parking problem, say on Melrose or Third Street? It seems that you want "free" parking for everyone, or maybe just those that have cars that cost less than, what, $10,000. How is it that a person can afford $3 a gallon gas, oil, maintenance, license fees, monthly payments, and insurance, but somehow can't afford to pay to park the vehicle?

Since you obviously haven't reviewed Shoup's model for parking, have you considered this result. If on street parking costs more, there will be more of it, however off street parking needs to cost less. People will be able to park in the off street lots and perhaps have to walk a block to where they are going. Now they cruise around and around looking for cheap on street parking and cause smog, congestion, and traffic jams.

By the way, the new parking system, SFpark, in San Francisco, which follow the Shoup model, was funded by the Obama administration through the use of so called Stimulus money…

JVH

John,

Thanks for the feedback. And yes, in an ideal world, free parking for everyone. In the real world, however, I want public money to serve the public and not just the rich people among us.

Off street parking is a great solution. In Pasadena, there are public parking structures that serve the businesses in their respective areas. Instead of zoning regulations that require businesses to provide parking within the limited space of their own properties, the city allows the businesses to provide the needed parking by paying their share of the cost of those parking structures. And parking money there goes to serve the local community.

This could be a viable part of a parking plan for Los Angeles … but it isn't. Los Angeles is doing nothing to provide the additional parking needed in our city and Shoupdog's pricing model does nothing to improve the parking landscape either. Jacking up the price of parking does not create one additional parking space. It only reserves parking spaces for the rich. The rest of us are are still circling the block looking for a place to park.

The parking problems on Melrose and Third streets are the direct result of the city allowing if not encouraging businesses to build and grow without providing necessary parking for the customers they inevitably attract. Now, 50 years into their irresponsibility, the solution is very expensive and politically difficult. Parking structures are a great solution. Getting the land and paying for them may prove impossible. It doesn't help that the parking revenues earmarked for solving the problem were redirected into the general fund by Mayor Antonio Villaragosa.

Do I have a solution to the parking problem? Yeah. Build parking structures. Is there the money and political will to do it? Not now. And Shoupdog's insistence that jacking up the price of parking will solve the problem is ludicrous. It may help him park his car, but it will do nothing for the rest of us.

Charles Tarlow

Hey Chuck – A couple of issues

First of all, The Shoup model has three parts, letting the free market set rates is one only. The parts are:

1.    Free market sets rates

2.    Money generated is returned in a tangible form to the neighborhoods where it came from

3.    Parking requirements are removed.

Now you don't have to read the book.

In Pasadena, the money that businesses paid didn't nearly cover the costs of the structures…. If you go there now, you will pay to park in the structures, but not as much as on street. That is how it should be, the most convenient parking should be more expensive than the less convenient. The problem with "free" parking is that the employees of the businesses take it and there is no room for customers. Sorry, it happens everywhere.

One of the things that would help and would provide parking structures would be that if the on street parking was charged at a rate to keep 15% open, the money generated could assist in the building of garages. Also, the free market would be incentivized to build the garages and not stick the taxpayers with the bill. Why should I build something and have to charge for it, when the city is giving it away across the street.) You talk about fair, but you want all the people who don't own cars to pay for the people who do. Pay for the parking, the structures, and everything. That makes no sense to me at all. As for roads, most of them are paid through gasoline taxes, like a use tax — that makes sense. Toll roads make sense, too – after all, people who use them pay for them, those that elect not to, have alternatives.

Shoup does NOT say that parking fees should be raised. He simply says that they should be set by the marketplace. They should change hourly, daily, weekly as the demand changes. As for 3rd and Melrose – there are hundreds if not thousands of spaces just a few feet away in the nearby neighborhoods. Of course the property owners don't want parkers there. I wonder if they would be motivated if people paid to park in front of their houses and the money was returned to them in the form of lower property taxes. If the space in front of my house generated even $20 a week, that's a grand a year – and if that grand were shown on my taxes as a "minus" don't you think I would be more inclined not to worry too much about the folks parking there? After all the enforcement folks driving around would also add security.

A fellow in New York has suggested that those placards that folks in the neighborhood parking restriction areas be transferrable. If I want, I can sell my permit to whomever I choose. I would find an employee or store owner and sell them the permit. They could then park in my neighborhood and take the stress off the parking be the stores.

See there are many solutions. However one must be creative.

It's the city that's raising the parking fees and not taking anything into consideration (like time of day, day of week, etc). There is plenty of room Tuesday morning on 3rd. Why charge $4 a hour. But on Friday and Saturday night. Raise the rates.

Right now on Third there is a building with what looks like 75 parking spaces on its roof (Across from Toast). Its unoccupied. They should open the parking, charge whatever, and take pressure off the street. But…

There are also many spaces behind all the stores and restaurants (alley). Many are unused.

The last thing one wants, I think, is to have the government come in and try to "solve" the problem. No one has been able to show me where government involvement has solved any problem, anywhere.

You seem to have a hair up your nose about the "rich." I have a Hair up my nose about the "poor." That stats I see show that virtually all homes in the US have electricity, phones, TV, most have air conditioning, hot water, and virtually all so called "poor" own a car. They are also extremely well fed, to the point of being overweight. Not that are they comfortable, clipping coupons. NO of course not, but when one says "poor" you think of dirt streets, no plumbing, going through dumpsters. Those aren't the poor who are trying to find a parking space on Melrose.

All the best

JVH

John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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