Reddit Reddit reviews The High Cost of Free Parking

We found 22 Reddit comments about The High Cost of Free Parking. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

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22 Reddit comments about The High Cost of Free Parking:

u/Rudiger · 24 pointsr/vancouver

Why do you think parking should be made free (and giving a subsidy to users of those spots) outside the downtown core after 8pm, on Sundays and statutory holidays when nearly all experts agree that parking is grossly under priced?

How will you make up for the lost income and this subsidy for drivers?


The High Cost of Free Parking


New York Times

u/whiskeytangohoptrot · 21 pointsr/SeattleWA

> You wanna just let the city start charging us to park on streets we already paid for?

The High Cost of Free Parking goes into this. If you want the reader's digest version, here's an episode of Planet Money that goes into it.

u/energy_engineer · 5 pointsr/sanfrancisco

Some relevant reading on the subject of Free Parking.

By the same author (but free to read), a somewhat old but still interesting read on on free parking cost and city planning. (pdf)

Parking is a consumable and limited resource (especially when observed at a neighborhood level). Limited resources should have an associated cost.

u/nickpickles · 5 pointsr/olympia

First, a bit of background: I have lived/worked downtown for the better part of six years and have had little problems with parking. I live/park everyday in what is roughly three blocks from the city center. I also study urban planning, occasionally attend city council planning sub-committee meetings, and like reading about parking.

I disagree with what you are saying. On any given day (yes even during peak hours between 8:45a and 5:30p) there is a considerable amount of open parking spaces within five blocks of Fourth Avenue (I've seen the data). The problem isn't so much the actual amount of parking available but more the perceived amount of parking available. We all wish to find that prime spot right on Fourth, Fifth, or State and if that is the only goal then it will take some driving about an waiting. But, if you go one or two blocks in you will start to find plenty of open, cheap, and long-term parking. Hell, even during state worker rush times my block has numerous nine-hour parking meters available. There are spots across the street that I have seen seldom used in weeks save for an event at the WA performing arts center or a library function. For a city our size we actually have an overabundance of parking, which if one were to follow Donald Shoup's work means we ought to raise prices on the prime parking and during peak hours.

When the plans for new City Hall did not include a lot it raised a stink but makes sense in forward-thinking planning terms. People love to talk about “going green”, upping transit, and increasing walkability but the second you remove a few parking spots you'll see an uproar. Same for the flipside of the coin: those who decry local government subsidies will complain when parking priced well-below market value isn't available at a moment's notice. When you allow non-market value parking, free parking, forced parking spot creation per zoning laws, etc you're actually facilitating more use of the automobile and in turn forcing more wasted gas and "block circling" to be the lucky one to find a convenient spot. What Shoup has found in The High Cost of Free Parking is that it this idea of plentiful cheap parking does not work and only in making a multi-cost parking format where the more convenient spots are adjusted to market value (and raised during peak time while being monitored and price- fluctuating until you find the right price to keep a constant 4/5 of the spots filled) and a cheaper price as you venture further away (also adjusting these prices to represent a regular 4/5 occupancy) do you start to find a sweet spot. Being able to find a prime spot on the busiest street while also having the same availability without the premium tacked-on a few blocks down. Basically: some parking prices will go up while others may drop to meet the demand.

What does this mean for local business? Considering how cheap parking is now and how local businesses and their employees can apply for downtown parking permits you can imagine that at least some of the prime spots are being taken up by those who work in the area. As Shoup demonstrates in his book, rather than having an employee take up a prime spot for 5-8 hours you have a constant flow of customers occupying the spot for less time and paying more. Will this slight increase hurt your business? His findings show, no. Those who would be effected by a minimal increase in price will park a block or two away, per what they are willing to spend. Employees will follow suit. Lower traffic, less gas burned, and more evenly-distributed open spots are the outcome of this pricing system as San Francisco has proven after they adopted Shoup's methods.

As for your comments about parking services being a “cash cow”, that really is not the case for expired meter tickets, which run $15. While other tickets fetch much higher prices (parking in a yellow zone is $75) these are not factored into the parking argument as they are no-park zones to begin with. On the city not meeting it's own needs in parking, I say: the City of Olympia represents all of Olympia, not just downtown. Downtown is one of the few areas in the city where crowded parking is even noticeable. They have taken actions in-line with their Comprehensive Plan (the actual plan for the future) to increase mass transit, bicycling, and walkability in downtown towards a less single-auto orientated city center. The actual parking downtown is sufficient (some would argue overkill) for it's current and future needs, large population surge not-withstanding. A quick look at the past decade of growth in Olympia (specifically downtown population and business expansion) and projections for the future show that we aren't expecting growth on an unmanageable scale anytime soon. I believe if the city implemented a more efficient pay parking structure it would alleviate many of the current parking woes within the main city blocks and could perhaps increase business in the area. Those holding your beliefs of few parking spots downtown might be more inclined to go and spend their money there if they know that a prime spot is probably attainable at any hour of the day, albeit at a higher price, but also with the knowledge that cheap parking is available within a few blocks of their intended destination.

u/admiralwaffles · 5 pointsr/boston

If you'd like a really interesting read, then check out this book. It's called The High Cost of Free Parking by Donald Shoup. If you're super lazy, listen to the Freakonomics podcast about it.

u/toastspork · 4 pointsr/Economics

Most American suburbs have zoning that mandates a specific minimum amount of free parking. The point where it becomes a legal requirement is the point where it moves back from being a symptom to a cause. Now you can't easily walk to the next building over, because it's a half mile away, across two large parking lots that have no safe areas for pedestrians.

If mall and office building developers were allowed to build smaller parking lots with fewer spaces, and were allowed to charge for it, you'd better bet they would.

References: The High Cost of Free Parking, by Donald C. Shoup

u/[deleted] · 3 pointsr/lowcar

These people complaining about removing of the minimum parking requirement have provided no evidence to support their case. Whereas a plethora of literature exists to support the removal of parking requirements. Most notably Donald Shoup's book. Parking is expensive and often wasteful. Let the free market decide how much parking should exist and what the price should be. It's bogus that non car drivers have to subsidize parking lots.

u/ngroot · 3 pointsr/chicago

This may not be a bad thing. I haven't read The High Cost Of Free Parking, but I've certainly seen some compelling arguments for raising parking rates. You know, like "you might be able to find a parking spot".

u/cruzweb · 3 pointsr/pics
u/Smiziley · 2 pointsr/WTF

San Francisco, his study area is actually implementing his suggestions coming April 21. You should attempt to read his book if you're interested in parking as a concept of unintentionally bad planning.

u/EvanHarper · 2 pointsr/toronto

People should have to pay market prices for parking, whether they're parking a food truck there or not. (By the way, that would mean drastically less parking, as parking is heavily subsidized.)

u/Empact · 2 pointsr/politics

There are 2 parts to the automobile society problem. One of them is building an alternative, which I'm glad to see Obama is working towards. The other side of this is the substantial subsidies the federal government has been giving car travel for decades. Train travel wasn't killed only by Detroit, it was killed also by a free interstate highway system.

I recently gave a talk (slides) about these car subsidies: parking mandates and infrastructure costs which far exceed the user fees paid via the gas tax. As transportation is extremely cost sensitive (as Donald Shoup has shown, for example with his parking cash-out studies), these subsidies make the difference between a sea of suburbs and a denser network of European-style villages & cities.

So don't get lost only in building rail networks, as correcting perverse subsidies is just as important as building an alternative.

u/digitalsciguy · 2 pointsr/urbanplanning

I think I get what you're saying - you wish /r/urbanplanning would acknowledge the fact that we have suburbs and post more things like the Build a Better Burb design challenge for Long Island, which does still endorse many of the things that do get discussed and posted here on the subreddit, like better transit access, increasing density (the slippery slope argument against density is that we want skyscrapers...), and improving a sense of place.

I'll definitely say that there's a lot to be had from the influence of land-use policies that could be changed to encourage transformations of suburbs to European-like strong towns linked by rail with greenspace in between, as is discussed in this article. However, a lot of these ideas aren't as easily applied elsewhere in US suburbs where suburbs came in after the decline of the railroads; Long Island is unique in its mostly electrified commuter rail services and lends itself better toward the idealistic transmogrification we'd love to see across the US. Perhaps this is the space of the discussion you're looking for?

On top of that, you still do have the issue that people do live in the suburbs for one or more of the features one finds/expects to find there. Actual implementation of land use policy can be very difficult when dealing with many individual property owners, even if those policies encourage the improvement of transport access, community amenities, public spaces, etc.

I've always been intrigued by the book Retrofitting Suburbia but haven't pulled the trigger on buying the book yet - I'm still going through the Shoup bible and my signed copy of Triumph of the City.

u/_Chemistry_ · 2 pointsr/Hoboken

You might be interested to see how San Francisco addressed street parking. They installed meters that would allow for variable pricing based upon supply and demand. I think this could work in Hoboken, especially along Washington Street, to encourage more short-term parking for the street and encourage people to use garages for long term parking.

Also there's a good book called "The High Cost of Free Parking" by Donald Shoup. There's an excerpt here that people can read.

u/jeff303 · 2 pointsr/baltimore

The argument he's making actually isn't against city-owned garages (even though that's the point he desperately wants to make given that it's The Atlantic). The argument is actually against parking that is "too cheap," which is a perfectly valid and not-at-all novel argument to pose. See this book for example.

The city could still raise prices and retain ownership.

u/Pixelated_Penguin · 1 pointr/LosAngeles

>But it would appear that the argument is that parking needs to be priced accordingly to cost of maintained the parking structure of what-have-you.

Nope, I'm not. Never have, never will.

Parking needs to be priced at the rate that will leave enough spaces free at any given time that people seeking parking can find a space in their first try, rather than circling. Fines have to be set at a rate where people feel that the risk of the fine is great enough that they'll pay the meter. Given how high our rate of unpaid meters is in Los Angeles, our fines aren't high enough (though I think this is more about average fines... in other words, rather than increasing the dollar amount of the fine further, I think we need to increase the chance you will get a ticket, but that's another discussion.)

That article, BTW, is one of his first efforts on the subject. The book was published in 2011. Since then, there have been a lot of other articles. Municipal parking garages are definitely a piece of the puzzle (he's opposed to requiring businesses to build in their own parking, for a lot of good reasons), but they don't really interact with meter rates. Instead, they're supported by their own parking fees and in-lieu fees from businesses who get exemptions from parking requirements.

u/kiwipete · 1 pointr/

Yes, and we subsidize an oversupply of parking to start with!

u/puck2 · 1 pointr/providence

George Costanza, the quintessential New Yorker, once said, "My father didn't pay for parking, my mother, my brother, nobody. It's like going to a prostitute. Why should I pay when, if I apply myself, maybe I can get it for free?" The High Cost of Free Parking, Donald Shoup's 733-page tour de force, has the answer. With the exception of a Monopoly board, there is no such thing as free parking. In fact, free parking turns out to be the biggest problem you never thought about. "We all want to park free," Shoup writes. "But we also want to reduce traffic congestion, energy consumption and air pollution. We want affordable housing, efficient transportation, green space, good urban design, great cities and a healthy economy. Unfortunately, ample free parking conflicts with all these other goals."

u/howardson1 · 1 pointr/urbanplanning

I'm a libertarian urbanist, and the rank and file libertarians hate the morgage interest deduction, zoning laws, urban renewal, government subsidized highways, and other sprawl creating policies.

Good book on free market urbanism:
Their are a lot more.

u/roju · 0 pointsr/canada

Noise is a commons, and in order to prevent abuse, we usually allow government to regulate the use of commons. Limits on noise are perfectly reasonable, and in fact desirable.

Free parking is anything but - urban land is expensive. "Free parking" just means "subsidized by everyone else" parking. I don't see why someone too poor to own a motorbike/car should be subsidizing the parking of someone who can afford one.