Had lunch with Don Shoup, author of “The High Cost of Free Parking,” today. He is a true academic. On one hand he sounded like a reactionary when he said that we should charge, charge CHARGE for all parking, and on the other, he’s not too sure about wasting our time in Iraq. I told him he had been in academia too long.
Nevertheless, this guy knows his parking. One of the few in higher education that really studies our profession.
The gist of it is this —
1. Our city governments require that developers put in parking on the city’s terms
2. Curb parking is free or too cheap
3. Money from on street parking goes into the general fund, not to the neighborhood in which it was collected.
These three problems. says Don, are the basis for the decline of civilization as we know it. Well, almost.
He says that parking should not be subsidized. That parkers should pay the true cost to park, and the money from parking on the streets and in city owned locations should go to the neighborhoods in which the parking is located. Developers should build the amount of parking they think they need. The city should keep out of it.
This would create more and better parking on street, require developers to meet the demand of their tenants, create many more opportunities for professional parking companies, and raise the rates for parking so only those that really wanted or needed to travel by car would do so.
Go Don, go. I have signed on as a Shoupista. (Seems the Shoupista group informally formed at a Urban Planning meeting when Don simply said that Urban Planners had been destroying central cities and burbs by controlling the parking and causing it to be subsidized. Let the free market work, he said).
More about this really neat guy in May’s Parking Today
PS He even claims, weakly, that free parking costs us about as must as the national defense budget ($375 Billion).