Don Shoup and Robert Poole of the Reason Foundation are speaking tomorrow in LA. (There’s a VIP dinner tonight at the Peninsula Hotel and of course yours truly is invited). Most of the speakers are academics so it will be good to also hear what Poole has to say. The reason foundation typically uses the marketplace as a problem solver and my guess is that twinned with Don Shoup this is going to be a talk about letting the free market set pricing for parking so people will be motivated to find alternate means of transportation.
It’s a great idea. Think about it. Charge for parking what it’s worth. On street parking is limited so the price would go up. Parkers would move quickly to the lower priced garages moving quickly off the streets and stop cruising looking for cheap parking. On street would keep rising until there were a few empty spaces, and off street would raise as demand required. Those who couldn’t afford to park would think about carpools, public transportation, or in the end moving near the areas they wish to visit.
Far Fetched. Its already happening. Jerry Skillett from Central Parking told me that studies have shown that people are moving back into the central city in droves. Not only empty nesters, but also young couples who see the interaction with their peers in the city more of a draw than that white picket fence and a four bedroom bungalow. Its happening right before our eyes. Downtown LA for instance is full of upmarket folks who live in lofts and walk to work. Atlanta and Minneapolis are see much of the same thing.
The more things stay the same, the more they change.
I’ll let you know what Donald and Robert have to say.