It can’t work here…


It can’t work here…

The author of this column is typical of people who properly describe market based pricing and the need to remove parking requirements, but then add this paragraph:

This all works much better in a high-density city where there are ample public transit options. In L.A., it certainly seems a bit unfair and/or unworkable. And that, in part, is what the debate will be about next month.

Yeah, that’s it, let us debate it to death. LA is little different than many US cities who grew up in the last half of the 20th century. Take a look at Phoenix or Houston, or for that matter, Las Vegas. These cities have similar issues – they are geographically huge, have dicy public transport, and so naturally they “need” tons of parking.

I take another view. If you don’t change the way cities grow, you simply add to the problem. Consider that charging market rates for parking will increase density. People can live and work and play in places that don’t require the automobile. Or, if parking is expensive, maybe they will elect to car pool, or use a bus. If people realized that parking was going to be expensive, maybe they would pay enough that good rapid transit or public transit, or for that matter, private transportation would be worth the investment.

Hell, maybe the concept of jitneys would begin to make sense. People could hop on and off as needed. How about smaller busses that were more expensive rather than larger ones that were less expensive? I would be happy to pay $10 jor $15 to go to say, “The Grove” to shop, play, or eat (its about a 25 minute drive from my house) if I knew it was going to cost me $20 to park. It’s a fun place, lots of street action nearby on Third. If I knew that every 30 minutes or hour there was a comfortable shuttle leaving my neighborhood why not take it. Won’t have to worry about traffic, those adult beverages… but I digress.

The point is that ingenuity and the free market will solve the problem, if the government stops creating competition by providing free or subsidized parking.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

One Response

  1. As far as parking is concerned its time to end the government refrain of “doing more with less” and start “doing less for more.” Government needs to stop trying to figure out how much parking is needed to prevent overflow and just deal with the overflow directly. Then only the parking spaces that pay for themselves will get built and businesses will become transit fans. The more time government spends trying to figure out how much parking is needed, the the longer it will be before we stop subsidizing it.

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