“Free Parking” in Main Stream Media


“Free Parking” in Main Stream Media

Don Shoup’s new book, "The high cost of free parking" has made it to the MSM (Main Stream Media). USA Today has covered the release as news here.

A few excerpt’s from the article:

The book challenges traditional thinking that cheap and plentiful parking is smart public policy. It comes at a time when cities and companies are studying how much parking to provide workers and how to encourage wider use of mass transit.

In popular downtown areas, "land is extremely valuable, yet curb parking is free or has meters with very low prices," says Shoup, who has studied parking policies around the world for more than two decades. "People drive around and around looking for a curb space. That congests traffic and pollutes the air."

• Cities and suburbs require too many parking spaces around malls, apartments and office buildings. That wastes land that could be put to better use, and for much of the year, hundreds of spaces sit vacant.

Shoup urges cities to review their parking requirements and adjust prices and supply based on demand. In hip entertainment and shopping districts that attract visitors until late evening, for example, meter rates could be raised to $2 an hour during the day and $3 in the evening but made free after 2 a.m.

Others, however, say parking prices are just fine.

The last thing downtown Dallas businesses want is to increase the $1-an-hour rate of parking meters, says Alice Murray, president of the Central Dallas Association. "The whole intent is to get people to feel that they can come downtown," she says. "Sales tax is what you make money on. … Parking meters are gravy.

Those with ‘sway’ in our industry had better take note. Shoup’s revolutionary ideas may take hold. The book has been published by the 30,000 member American Planning Association. These folks will make the decisions about planning in our cities for the upcoming decades. Look for a interview with Don Shoup in May’s Parking Today.


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John Van Horn

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