We are Slowly Getting the Idea


We are Slowly Getting the Idea

The LA Times reports that parking is becoming more and more scarce in some areas and, guess what, the prices are going up. Good old law of supply and demand. Works every time.

Shoupistas are celebrating. The increasing price of parking is causing something to happen in the downtown LA area. People are using rapid transit. They take the subway, buses, trains, and leave their cars in now overcrowded park and ride stations in the burbs.

Its the way it is supposed to work. If you raise the price of anything, the odds are that some people will seek and alternative. However if you keep the prices artificially low, you will cause the marketplace to get out of skew and destroy the balance.

That is what has happened in many of our cities. The price of parking is held down by the city so people  decide that they can drive their cars to work. As the prices go up, they look to alternatives.

Some may actually move back in to the downtown area. LA is seeing a resurgence, as are a number of cities, including, I understand, Milwaukee. People don’t like the long commute. They don’t like the cost of keeping a number of cars, they don’t like the high cost of parking, so they see that if they can save $1000 a month by getting rid of a car they can afford to live in a great loft or condo downtown.

I read the article in the Times and discovered that people were changing their habits. Of course our media put a negative spin (they now have to park in an area where its not safe and their car is threatened) but basically people said they would survive. They looked for alternatives, and if they can’t find them, you can bet the market will take care of the problem.

One more example of why Don Shoup and his theories are right as rain. Ubiquitous free or under priced parking has caused a lot of problems in our metropolitan areas. Time, and the marketplace, is fixing that.


John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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