Parking Decision by Committee


Parking Decision by Committee

My buddy Don Shoup must love this one — The Des Plaines, IL, city council has decided to require builders to provide 2 spaces per unit built (residential) and no guest parking. How did they come up with these numbers. Read about it here and weep.

They hired a couple of consulting firms to do a survey, but decided not to wait for the survey. Public pressure was too great.  They passed a "temporary ordinance" and will revisit it later. 

So let’s see– if you build a project this month, you will be required to provide 2 spaces per unit, however in six months it may by 1.5 or 1.25, or 1, or none, or what the hell, maybe 4.

Shoupistas have an idea — Why not have no parking requirement. The builder could decide how many they wanted.  People moving in could decide if there was enough parking before they took the apartment or condo.  The builder could actually charge extra for the parking spaces he provided and let the people who decided to own cars pay for the ability to park them.  Those that elected to get by with a bicycle or take public transportation could pay less for their living arrangements.

I guess the local city fathers and mothers in Des Plaines didn’t consider that possibility. They voted to require 2 spaces per unit, with no visitor parking required.

It seems to me (and other Shoupistas) that if a developer wants to attract people with cars, they will provide more parking, if they don’t they won’t. Then people with cars will go to places with parking and pay extra for that little feature, and those without will pay less in those with fewer spaces. 

The free market works — try it.


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John Van Horn

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