Come on, Its Simple Economics…


Come on, Its Simple Economics…

This is an old story – They are taking the exact opposite approach to the Shoup model. Here is the money quote:

Business owners in the free parking area will have to make sure their employees don’t take advantage of the situation by occupying the curbside spaces”. 

Mark wants to know who will make a prediction as to what the problem will be when they revisit this decision in two years.

This is 180 degrees out in what Econ 101 says. The price of something should be set based on supply, and on the customer’s willingness to pay. In this case, the supply is right there, on the street and it is the most convenient place to park. So we are giving that away free and charging for the space that is less convenient.

So where are people going to park? Is this brain surgery? What is the matter with these people? Their employees, and they, themselves, are going to take up all the parking spaces on street. They are going to go out and move their cars every two hours, assuming the city can figure out how to enforce the two hour limit. There will be no place for actual customers to park. And the merchants will be screaming about another reason why they are having problems.

Did you note in the article that the city is making up the shortfall in the general fund by dipping into the “parking reserves.” Not one word about money from the meters going into the downtown to fix streets, parks, sidewalks, etc. Let’s face it. If the money generated by the meters had gone into supporting the downtown merchants, they would be crying that parking was too cheap.

We’ll have to keep an eye on Eugene, OR, and see just how far sighted these city dads and moms really are.


John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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