Reddit Reddit reviews The High Cost of Free Parking, Updated Edition

We found 99 Reddit comments about The High Cost of Free Parking, Updated Edition. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

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99 Reddit comments about The High Cost of Free Parking, Updated Edition:

u/soapdealer · 55 pointsr/SimCity

I totally love the Christopher Alexander books. Definitely check out his The Timeless Way of Building which is a great companion piece to A Pattern Language. You should know that his works, while great in my opinion, are sort of considered idiosyncratic and not really in the mainstream of architecture/urban design.

Here's a short reading list you should look at:

The Smart Growth Manual and Suburban Nation by Andres Duany & Jeff Speck. Another set of sort-of-companion works, the Manual has a concrete set of recommendations inspired by the critique of modern town planning in Suburban Nation and might be more useful for your purposes.

The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs is probably the most famous and influential book on city planning ever and contains a lot of really original and thoughtful insights on cities. Despite being over half-a-century old it feels very contemporary and relevant.

The Geography of Nowhere by James Howard Kunstler is similarly mostly a critique of modernist planning principles but is both short and very well written so I'd definitely recommend checking it out.

Makeshift Metropolis by Witold Rybczynski: I can't recommend this entire book, but it does contain (in my opinion) the best summary of the history of American urban planning. Really useful for a historical perspective on different schools of thought in city design over the years.

The High Cost of Free Parking by Donald Shoup is the book on parking policy. It's huge (700+ pages) and very thorough and academic, so it might be harder to get through than the other, more popular-audience-oriented titles on the list, but if you want to include parking as a gameplay element, I really can't recommend it highly enough. It's a problem that's thorny enough most city games just ignore it entirely: Simcity2013's developers say they abandoned it after realizing it would mean most of their players' cities would be covered in parking lots, ignoring that most actual American cities are indeed covered in parking lots.

Finally there's a bunch of great blogs/websites out there you should check out: Streetsblog is definitely a giant in transportation/design blogging and has a really capable team of journalists and a staggering amount of content. Chuck Marohn's Strong Towns blog and Podcast are a great source for thinking about these issues more in terms of smaller towns and municipalities (in contrast to Streetsblog's focus on major metropolitan areas). The Sightline Daily's blog does amazing planning/transpo coverage of the Pacific Northwest. Finally [The Atlantic Cities] ( blog has incredible coverage on city-issues around the world.

I hope this was helpful and not overwhelming. It's a pretty big (and in my opinion, interesting) topic, so there's a lot of ground to cover even in an introductory sense.

u/Austin98989 · 38 pointsr/Economics

It's amazing how few people grasp the high cost of "free" parking.

u/JanetYellensFuckboy · 32 pointsr/neoliberal

I'd highly recommend the High Cost of Free Parking by Donald Shoup (RIP) on this subject. Great, pioneering book about how we fail to deal with the huge externalities of personal automobiles.

u/player2 · 24 pointsr/SeattleWA

Luckily, other people have thought very hard and determined that mandatory off-street parking raises the cost of living overall.

u/MimthePetty · 22 pointsr/Austin

You are undoubtedly and unpopularly correct.

u/Captain_Unremarkable · 21 pointsr/ShitAmericansSay

>Ok, what's unique about US problem?

Oh my god, I'm sure a plethora of master's theses have been written on this subject. This book comes to mind, for starters:

(Note that it is written by a UCLA professor--yes, Los Angeles, the city with arguably the worst traffic problem in the world.)

Also note I am not saying that the USA is a special snowflake; that's SAS fodder and I know it. But yes, we are unique in the literal sense of the word.

Now we're beginning to scratch the surface. Or at least, that's what I believe.

^But ^I'm ^really ^upset ^and ^overwhelmed ^with ^my ^fucking ^university's ^course ^scheduling ^process ^in ^this ^moment: ^disclaimer.

u/elbac14 · 17 pointsr/urbanplanning

Hey, I'm an urban planner in the private sector in Canada.
I haven't seen this youtube video in a long time, at least not since I started working out of school, and HOLY SMOKE it is pretty accurate. I identify with your skill set with the exception I could never do engineering as I am horrible with math and science. I went human geography to urban planning.

What don't you like about engineering? Is it the pay level? Number of entry level jobs? The number of entry level jobs in planning is super, super slim. It's a small field with a large number of graduates.

To be fair, there are a lot of different types of planner specialities. I do regular development approvals (rezoning, site plan, etc.). I can't speak for heritage or environmental planners really.

Planning is very much limited to a combination of what is allowed in the zoning by-law, engineering, developer preferences, and angry residents.
All municipalities have a zoning by-law. Zoning controls what you can and cannot build on a parcel of land including the setbacks, density, heights, uses, and most importantly (but least mentioned) MINIMUM PARKING REQUIREMENTS. Every building requires a certain number of parking spaces, usually an inflated amount. This wastes land like nobody's business. The parking is calculated based on building size and an assigned rate (example: grocery store: 6 spaces required per 100 sq.m of gross floor area). The bigger the building, the more parking you require. Parking ruins everything. The High Cost of Free Parking is my favorite planning book and is honestly far more useful about what's wrong with cities today than anything you'd learn in a master's degree.

Secondly, engineering constraints determine if a project will happen or not. Road widenings, water, sewers, etc. These are king in any municipality (and municipal engineers are almost always by the book).

Next, developers need to make a profit. If the developer wants to build a gas station, then you will do the planning work for a gas station. It's not all glorious and exciting mega-developments.

Lastly, angry (NIMBY) residents, and the Council members that represent them, will oppose most new development. Most residents oppose absolutely any change in their area, especially next door to them. Doesn't matter what you are building. The always use the same two excuses: "think of the children who play in this area" (I can't stand that one) and "it will cause more traffic" (and therefore cars will risk hitting our children sigh). Property values and building heights would be the next biggest complaints.

Can you make a real difference as an urban planner? City Council is responsible for making all decisions, planners just make recommendations. If Council thinks it will upset residents and they will lose votes, they will likely oppose a new development even if the development is great. Planners do get a role in explaining the benefits to the public but older people tend not to care about the 'progressive' stuff.

People get a bit of shock when the realize urban planning isn't Sim City. I still love my job though. I should also point out I don't make a lot of money yet at all AND I work/live in the suburbs. Many planners start out in smaller places first. Almost nobody is getting a planning job at a big city without prior work experience.

I'd love to answer more questions, let me know.

u/Midnight_in_Seattle · 16 pointsr/SeattleWA

The question is not "for" or "against" cars, per se; it's about the high cost of "free" parking, which all of us pay, including people who have cars.

Do we want space for humans or for machines? That's a real salient trade-off in many cities, and it's one that's rarely foregrounded in discussions about the obscene cost of rent.

u/davepsilon · 15 pointsr/boston

A lot of great thinking on urban parking including the cost it adds to development and the ramifications for livable cities was collected in the book [The High Cost of Free Parking]( It is a thick tome, but it was suggested to me on reddit and reading it completely changed my view on parking regulations.


And shared use parking is a theme of some of the chapters. I think it's usually discussed in shared parking for multiple businesses that have different hours rather than apartments and businesses just because the businesses and residences are frequently in different areas.

u/unclebumblebutt · 14 pointsr/VictoriaBC

Driving around looking for parking represents ~1/3rd of all vehicle miles travelled.

More: you really want to go down the rabbit hole:

Edit: more on the 1/3rd VMT that says it may be much lower

u/evanstravers · 14 pointsr/Portland

There’s an important book dealing with this we read in Principles of Urban Design: The High Cost of Free Parking

u/benhurensohn · 13 pointsr/LosAngeles

The High Cost of Free Parking, Updated Edition

u/_THE_MAD_TITAN · 12 pointsr/politics

Basic macroeconomics tells us that lower interest rates supposedly results in more spending, borrowing, and thus more economic activity and growth.

But there are some glaring holes in the mainstream economic understanding:

(1) After a transition period of a few months, the economy settles into a equilibrium that isn't much better than before the rate change. If the federal funds interbank rate is adjusted downward by only 0.25 percentage points (known as "basis points"), then there's no reason to think such a tiny adjustment will result in a meaningful boost to the economy.

(2) In fact, with baseline interest rates so low, we are in danger of entering a "liquidity trap" in which people don't even bother saving their money or investing it because the rate of return on investments and savings will be so low, the benefit of investing versus spending it today would be much weaker. Less money will be saved for financial emergencies, retirement, college savings, etc now that the benefit of doing so is reduced.

(3) Also, any boost to growth that results from reducing interest rates can only be sustained by continuing to reduce the interest rates over a prolonged period. A one-off decrease by such a small increment simply will not ripple through the economy in a way that people will appreciate.

(4) There is also the reality that simply making debt and other capital cheaper by lowering rates is not going to translate into new innovations, factories, warehouses, product lines or other new products and investments.

If new growth is the goal, we need to stop tinkering with monetary policy and commit to more Keynesian or Georgist macroeconomic fiscal policy:

  • Improve our land use policy.

  • Reduce barriers to entry for upstart minority entrepreneurs.

  • Make college and grad school significantly cheaper or tuition-free.

  • Reform the healthcare and health insurance sector so that employees are not tethered to their current employer due to health insurance.

  • Toughen up our antitrust laws to not have such a narrow definition of "monopoly". Prohibit all exclusive partnerships and other contracts, unless parties to the agreement wish to pay an exclusivity tax.

  • Implement a land value tax, and make federal block grants dependent on states' adoption of land value tax and reduction of income and sales taxes.

  • Implement a carbon tax

  • Implement congestion pricing for major roads and interstates. Incentivize states and cities to abolish free parking and to implement surge pricing and remove the minimum on-site parking requirements in their zoning ordinances.
u/ArcadeNineFire · 12 pointsr/urbanplanning

This sub can seem overwhelmingly anti-car because, for many, it's a place to vent.

Look at it this way: the dominant public policy in the United States for several generations, stretching back 70+ years, has been to orient nearly every transportation, land use, and development decision around the automobile.

That has resulted in hundreds of billions of dollars (probably trillions, actually) of direct and indirect subsidies promoting car ownership, free and/or cheap car storage (parking), car-oriented residential development (suburban sprawl), and on and on. This in comparison to paltry support for public transportation, dense urban development, etc. Put succinctly, cars and cities are a bad match.

Don't get me wrong: the personal automobile is amazing technology. It makes sense that people have gravitated to it. But the planners of 1940s and 50s – whose system we largely emulate today – simply couldn't (or wouldn't) predict the massive negative side effects that accompany car-oriented development.

These planners thought that cars and suburbs would mean an end to urban gridlock. Instead, they accelerate it. They thought that building highways through urban cores would revitalize them – instead, those highways decimated communities, many of which have never recovered.

In fact, the original Interstate Highways System was supposed to connect cities (great idea!), not go through them (not so great).

For those of us on this sub who follow these trends, and have found that modern research is firmly against much of the so-called benefits of cars, parking lots, and highways, it's immensely frustrating that so much of the public conversation adamantly refuses to recognize the shortcomings of car-oriented development. So yes, you get a lot of "anti-car" sentiment around here, but I think it's more fair to say that we're pro-balance, not anti-car per se.

Cars will continue to make sense for the vast majority of people for the vast majority of trips. What we want to see are more options so that you don't have to drive everywhere, all the time, which is bad for our environmental and physical health, and is economically unsustainable to boot.

As for parking lots specifically, you won't find a better resource than Donald Shoup's The High Cost of Free Parking, which is basically the Bible around here (for good reason). I imagine you don't feel like reading a whole book about parking policy (and I wouldn't blame you!), but google the phrase and you'll find plenty of articles about it that get across the main points.

I'd also encourage you to check out the Strong Towns organization, which was started by a (conservative) former traffic engineer in suburban Minnesota (i.e. not your typical member of this sub). They come at these points from a very practical, non-ideological perspective. Here's a good post to start with.

u/nuotnik · 10 pointsr/urbanplanning

Here's the podcast, Parking Is Hell

They interview Donald Shoup, who is basically the expert on parking policy, and the author of The High Cost of Free Parking.

u/jsvh · 10 pointsr/Atlanta

Way too much parking around downtown, your con sounds like another pro to me! (Way more than you wanted to know about parking policy here: )

u/Tuilere · 9 pointsr/WaltDisneyWorld

It's fundamentally a user fee. Americans are over-used to "free" parking, and there is a huge cost for that parking built into many prices all over the place. is relevant.

u/dkesh · 9 pointsr/AskMen

I'm a radical Shoupian. The cultural idea that parking costs should be mostly paid for by the owner of the building, not the person parking, has led to bad architecture, bad traffic, bad environmental outcomes, and less enjoyable places. We should end minimum parking regulations, and price on-street parking better.

u/clothesliner · 9 pointsr/SeattleWA

I would love this! I often make the decision to drive to work, just because my bus commute is 2.5x the journey time (drive is 25-30 minutes, bus is 70-80 minutes). One of the reasons the bus commute is so long is because my local bus runs once an hour, leaving me with a 20 minute wait for a connection. I have to use it because the P&R fills up before 7am.

I would happily pay even a largish fee if I had a guaranteed spot at the P&R which would allow me to bus to work in a much more reasonable time (I estimate 35-40min).

On topic, this book is super fascinating:

> In this no-holds-barred treatise, Shoup argues that free parking has contributed to auto dependence, rapid urban sprawl, extravagant energy use, and a host of other problems. Planners mandate free parking to alleviate congestion but end up distorting transportation choices, debasing urban design, damaging the economy, and degrading the environment. Ubiquitous free parking helps explain why our cities sprawl on a scale fit more for cars than for people, and why American motor vehicles now consume one-eighth of the world's total oil production.

u/empenneur · 9 pointsr/LosAngeles

Sure. I'm an architect and when we get inquiries or RFPs the first thing we do is look at parking. I've worked on several large housing projects where the cost of underground parking has limited the size of the project because it stopped penciling out. Large complexes continue because demand is still high, but the cost is passed on directly to the tenant, which is why people complain that all new housing is expensive. Or maybe the developer wants a rooftop restaurant - those require 1 spot per 100 sf - that's huge!

In my experience, most planners agree that the market should dictate how much parking developers supply (see Donald Shoup) - if the developer doesn't think she can attract tenants without providing parking, then she's free to build as much as she wants, but others are free to try their hands renting units without a spot. I get it, parking in my neighborhood sucks too. There's an empty lot down the street from me; let's pretend I had enough money to buy it and pay the taxes on it (lol). It's a typical 50x100 RD1.5 lot, so take 5' off either side, 15' off the back and 15' off the front, leaving me with 2800sf buildable, which is a nice triplex, maybe two one-beds and a two-bed. But to do that I'd need at least five parking spaces... that eats into my ground floor space and net rentable area, pushes the project up on stilts, increases the amount of steel you need, or pushes the parking underground, adding hundreds of thousands of dollars to construction costs... it very quickly becomes not worth it.

u/WindPoweredWeeaboo · 8 pointsr/neoliberal
u/vitingo · 8 pointsr/transit

If you have the technical skills, make maps. I'm a programmer, so I made a transit app for my local system. Get in touch with other transit advocates in your area. Perhaps you can agree on some low hanging fixes and lobby for them. Deepen your understanding of the problem, I suggest Human Transit and The High Cost of Free Parking

u/alpaca_obsessor · 7 pointsr/WhitePeopleTwitter

Because it’s generally accepted that unbundling the price of parking from housing aides in greater flexibility of mobility choice, more affordable housing, and ultimately serves as a better way to charge people directly for their use of this ‘commodity.’

Some literature on the topic:

The Hidden Cost of Bundled Parking - Access Magazine

“Unbundling” Parking Costs is a Top Way to Promote Transportation Options - Mobility Lab

Unbundling Parking Isn’t Easy but It’s Worth It - The Greater Margin

The High Cost of Free Parking

u/washegonorado · 7 pointsr/Denver

I don’t think ample on-street parking is necessary or even desirable for a great neighborhood. In fact, I’d say all the neighborhoods and towns I’ve most enjoyed living in and visiting have all had atrocious parking. There are private parking spaces for rent in Cap Hill if a lack of parking is a personal problem for you. Not to mention, there are minimum parking requirements in Denver (except for parts of downtown) which will force this developer to include plenty of parking in any residential structure.

(Side note, I'd bet that it's easier to find parking on Pearl Street on a Friday night than it is to find an urban planner who believes minimum parking requirements are good for society, but that's another topic, or book)

u/chrana · 7 pointsr/toronto

Read Shoup.

u/digitalsciguy · 7 pointsr/boston

I 100% agree with your argument about false statistical certainty - this is a tactic people have been using more and more because precision is commonly mis-identified as certainty. Donald Shoup, the great parking policy professor from UCLA, outlines this as a major issue in his parking policy bible and how our entire country's parking volume recommendations and requirements are based on absurdly precise conclusions from statistically insignificant sample sizes.

I guess the only reason I'm taking the time to respond is because of this assumption:

>the total number of rides Uber gets from poorer neighborhoods is much lower than regular cab requests

I challenge this because I'm not sure if you're assuming that people in poorer neighbourhoods don't have smartphones, which is not true. In fact, the biggest reason transit agencies have been able to justify their push for smartphone-based tracking apps is that smartphone use and ownership is more or less equal across incomes and respectably high with low income riders. The only dimension that really varies in smartphone use is age.(Looking for citation - I read this in a report from the NYU Rudin Transportation Policy Center, but they've recently re-arranged their web site.)

Nevertheless, it stands to reason that we may not be getting quite an accurate or fair statistical analysis of the situation, but it certainly does feel like Uber is providing better service. In the least it is much more transparent about costs and has much more granular data available for it to mine.

u/bartleby · 6 pointsr/milwaukee

"Half as much parking downtown" is an absurd exaggeration.

Also, there is a bloated amount of parking in downtown Milwaukee as it is. It always amuses me that people expect free or subsidized storage for their private vehicles in a dense urban core. People in Milwaukee, and America in general, have a terrible understanding of parking economics.

u/literallyARockStar · 6 pointsr/Somerville

If all you're doing is moving your car every a few spaces down every two days, why even have a car?

I don't really want to do an extended internet argument about parking and urban planning. This is basically what I'd say, but better:

u/thecravenone · 6 pointsr/houston

The source for that stat appears to be this book . It sounds interesting but it's a bit pricey for something I'm only mildly curious about. Looks like Houston Public Library doesn't have it but there's a copy in the UH architecture library if anyone's interested.

u/kovu159 · 6 pointsr/LosAngeles

Uh, go to Palms at 7pm and try to park.

If you actually care about this, here's a great book about the issue. Parking in Westwood can take 15-20+ minutes due to a parking shortage, which promoted an economist to try to determine what pricing strategies could be used to solve the parking shortage in the city. The shortage is very real and has very real costs.

u/cinemabaroque · 5 pointsr/urbanplanning

Well, governments sort of do already, but not anywhere near the scale of the subsidies that are given to drivers.

Every car lane on a road that isn't a private toll road is an indirect subsidy for drivers and the frequent mandates that new development contain X amount of free parking spaces. There is a good book on this called The High Cost of Free Parking by Donald Shoup and you can read his original paper here for free. Free parking also subsidizes the car experience by taking valuable real-estate and making it free to use by motor vehicles.

If we take into account the subsidies for Oil and Gas Companies that keep the price of gasoline down it emerges that tens to hundreds of billions are being used in the US alone (the article references Australia but I'm more familiar with US statistics) to subsidize driving.

Some cities install bike lanes and bike parking but use a fraction of the resources to do so. Given the long term health benefits of cycling and the ecological impacts of mass driving it makes sense to me to shift some of the massive subsidies already going to drivers to cyclists.

Most cities spend less than 1% of their transit budget on bicycle infrastructure even though a much higher proportion of their population rides a bike regularly or as a commuter.

Given that the US government is willing to subsidize new electric vehicles with multi-thousand dollar tax breaks I see no reason why it should not be possible to write off on one's taxes 25% of the cost of a new bike or some similar scheme.

Alternatively it could set up a system where people who can verify that they bike to work 50% or more of the time receive a $1,000 health tax credit at the end of the year. This would also encourage people to work close to where they live (if your commute is only 2 miles it is a lot easier to achieve this tax credit) which would encourage density.

u/bryguytwoply · 5 pointsr/Hamilton

It is not a basic quality of life concern, are you insane? More parking is always a good thing? Read this, or any other urban planning book from the past 40 years.

u/zecho · 5 pointsr/fargo

I don't really care about building a tower. Kilbourne Group can do whatever they want. My concern is that building the tower hinges on the city building a ramp and plaza for the tower, which goes above and beyond economic incentives given to other business development. There ought to be a level playing field for developers throughout the city of Fargo. I don't see any reason why Kilbourne Group should get special treatment.

Secondly, parking ramps tend to sit empty when there are free options on the street, even if those ramps are also free (count cars inside and outside the Island Park or City-owned ramp sometime). I know it sounds counterintuitive but there are books about this sort of thing. Unless the ramp is free, people will continue to use on street parking instead, which adds to congestion and noise. If the city wants to encourage use, and help pay for the maintenance and, ideally, other business improvement districts, they ought to add parking meters downtown and offer a ramp for less in fees or for free.

Edit: I realize that parking meters are currently illegal in ND, which is a dumb law that ought to be changed.

u/pkulak · 5 pointsr/Portland
u/harlottesometimes · 5 pointsr/SeattleWA

The High Cost of Free Parking by vintage, urbanist pinup Donald "ShoupDogg" Shoup remains irrelevant in a conversation about customers renting curb space.

u/bmore · 4 pointsr/baltimore

I have no problem with people who have no other option except to drive to work, but I don't see why they shouldn't have to pay extra to leave their cars parked the majority of the day/night on what could otherwise be more productive property within a community.

I recommend this book as a good primer on the issues parking subsidies cause.

I don't think where I live really matters in regards to my opinion. I work in Mt. Vernon, I've lived in Mt. Vernon before, and I'll likely live there again.

If you look at the last downtown partnership studies, you'll see that a majority of Mt. Vernon residents work within 2 miles of their residence, and still drive to work despite having multiple other less harmful modes of transportation as options. If they choose to do that I believe they should have to pay more for their choices. I'm sorry that the few exceptions you identify would suffer as well, but I think despite your complaints the neighborhood improves with more transit, bike, and walking options, as well as more retail and residential properties, even at the expense of parking and road space for individual car users.

u/johnwalkr · 4 pointsr/lowcar

I thought you were going to talk about something else, which is how public planning currently values free parking above pretty much everything else. It's really shaped how cities sprawl. There's a whole book about it.

u/AEQVITAS_VERITAS · 4 pointsr/GoldandBlack

Donald Shoup has a book by the same name that is fascinating
Here is an excerpt and you can buy it here

u/[deleted] · 4 pointsr/Austin

For a concrete example:

One study written about in this amazing book found evidence that the minimum parking requirements in one area of LA increased the cost of housing by 26%

u/stiflin · 4 pointsr/Portland

There's extensive, well-regarded research showing that parking requirements raise rents: Professional economists overwhelmingly agree with that book's core claims:

You can choose it ignore it, and there's no such thing as conclusive "proof", but saying the evidence isn't incredibly strong is basically sticking your head in the sand.

u/HDThoreauaway · 4 pointsr/WhitePeopleTwitter

You should take a skim through Donald Shoup's The High Cost of Free Parking, and give a Google to "induced demand." It becomes clearer what the operating theory is.

u/streever · 4 pointsr/rva

Well, somebody pays for it: the actual cost of a free parking spot in an otherwise develop-able area is $5/day.

It would be obnoxious of me to expect you to read all 733 pages of The High Cost of Free Parking by Donald Shoup (, so I'll instead recommend this incredibly condensed and less broad 21 page paper by the same author on the topic (

But, if you're really really really into fairly boring & long, exhaustively researched topics, I'd highly recommend the full book :D.

u/kryost · 3 pointsr/Sacramento

> Sacramentans don't have a huge history of dealing with limited parking

In general, parking, especially free parking, in cities is seen as a something that is extremely harmful to the City success. So a lot of us can get pretty defensive about it because of the way that too much parking hurt Sacramento's development. UCLA Professor Donald Shoup has a good book on the idea.

Along with improving non-auto infrastructure, we will have to adapt to non-auto modes. It will take time, but will make Sacramento a much more prosperous City, and a better place to live.

u/ohmywhatwoodwork · 3 pointsr/Detroit

Whatever knuckleheads started this petition should read this book:

Free parking is BAD. End of story.

u/pdblouin · 3 pointsr/Sudbury

Then again, during peak times Uber has pretty crazy surge pricing to balance supply and demand. Edit: People are always suprised at surge pricing, with very little sympathy as the app makes it annoyingly clear. And another example from New Year's.

Taxis being forced to have a fixed price means that can't happen, so demand outstrips supply. Some argue that it's more accessible for everyone when prices are fixed, but the flip side is that yeah, no one can get a cab at peak times, so it's not really more accessible.

I personally like the adaptable prices. Many transit systems also have peak prices so that people who aren't forced to use a service at peak time will have an incentive to offload their usage to when there is less stress on the system.

Where I lose most people is when I point out that peak pricing could do great things for parking and roads, too.

u/slashedzer0 · 3 pointsr/Sacramento

The initial cost of building a garage may be cheaper, but the maintenance and opportunity cost is ungodly expensive for a parking garage. There're some really strong opinions on how bad parking is (see: High cost of free parking), but building structures that are generally really ugly, don't include any eye candy, and are single use is totally a waste of really really expensive real estate. Leave the parking garages in the suburbs and make parking so expensive that people actually take the train to the stadium.

In some places, they've decided to convert previous parking garages into usable spaces. Boston has one called the Garage and it's super cool.

u/brendax · 3 pointsr/vancouver

this is considered mandatory reading in planning circles.

u/AsSubtleAsABrick · 3 pointsr/jerseycity

The underlying premise is that free/cheap parking is bad. It causes inefficiencies in the whole system. The article indirectly references this book.

u/swissnumberedaccount · 3 pointsr/vancouver

There's also the 800 page (text)book by Shoup. Which is a decent read. It does get a bit repetitive after a while.

u/Potatoroid · 3 pointsr/Austin

Here, read this book. Parking costs $$$ to provide the ~325 sq ft of space (~550 sq ft when including the driving space), especially opportunity costs (i.e. residences, businesses, etc that would actually be productive places). Mandating its inclusion and having it be of no cost to the user does soooo much to promote a cycle of automobile dependency, to the point where expecting free parking in a large city creates the very problem it was meant to solve.

u/clarient · 2 pointsr/bicycling

Check out The High Cost of Free Parking if you feel like a serious read that basically supports everything you already think about cars and parking.

u/avo_cado · 2 pointsr/philadelphia
u/lingual_panda · 2 pointsr/urbanplanning

Have you read Donald Shoup's essays on parking? He also has a book out but I won't read it until there's a kindle version.

u/pillbinge · 2 pointsr/boston

They're not. People's incomes might not have kept up, but the actual cost of free parking (and yes, read the book) is too much.

u/OstapBenderBey · 2 pointsr/sydney

This is the best book - though American (and things are far worse there - particularly the 'free' part in the title), many of the issues still apply

u/Lol-I-Wear-Hats · 2 pointsr/bayarea

Donald Shoup has calculated that mandatory parking might be America's single most expensive social program

u/Mesonoptic · 2 pointsr/FortWorth

TANSTAAFL, y'all. Oodles of parking costs oodles of money, and it's nothing short of absolutely fair and dandy that parking co$t$ there - either pay up directly, or visit an approved merchant (indirect payment).

u/ArchEast · 2 pointsr/Atlanta

Minor correction: the book's title is The High Cost of Free Parking.

Amazon link

u/trebuday · 2 pointsr/SantaBarbara

Someone needs to read "The High Cost of Free Parking".

u/rypalmer · 2 pointsr/teslamotors

This is not a new problem to solve.

I'd like to see Tesla move to a dynamic pricing model that takes occupancy into consideration in real time. The pricing model should optimize for a certain vacancy of stalls at any time, say 10-20%.

Using pricing projections, you could set your trip planner to optimize on shortest trip time or lowest cost.

u/howardson1 · 2 pointsr/Anarcho_Capitalism

We should focus on how the government subsidizes carbon consumption though [ parkinglot mandates] ( and forces people to depend on cars through zoning laws that segregate businesses from apartments. High density living is illegal is most of america. [The government also subsidizes environmentally destructive activity] (

u/smckenzie23 · 2 pointsr/vancouver

And with any thought at all it should be something that voters are strongly against. It turns out there is a high cost to free parking. Man I hope that idiot doesn't get in.

u/BigVideoGamer69 · 2 pointsr/pittsburgh

Why would you expect the city to waste space that could be put to a better use on parking for you? That would be a waste of valuable space, which is in short supply in such a geographically small downtown area.
This book is specifically about free parking, but addresses how wasteful in general parking is.
Long story short, expecting a city that you don't even pay taxes towards to provide something for you is an incredibly entitled mindset. Maybe cities aren't for you.
e: Actually, Houston just might be the city for you:

u/OverTheFalls10 · 2 pointsr/sandiego

The economics of free street parking is quite interesting. This issue is much more impactful on the health of our cities than first glance may suggest. If you're really into it, here are 800 pages to feast on.

u/maskdmirag · 1 pointr/LosAngeles

Yep, that's exactly the problem, there's a huge underlying problem that needs to be solved, but the benefits of solving it are very hard to prove.

Donald Shoup (as much as I hate giving a bruin credit) is doing really good work looking at the overall problem of parking, he literally wrote the book on it:

u/iAmRoger · 1 pointr/TrueReddit

I guess that Mr Shoup was right!

u/italianismus · 1 pointr/ottawa

Not true actually. I recommend the book The High Cost of Free Parking. Parking is quite expensive, but it's subsidized massively, as are most things related to car ownership.

u/victornielsendane · 1 pointr/Denmark

Undskyld, det meste af det kommer fra mit urban economics fag på min udveksling.

Jeg remser ikke negative ting op om biler. Jeg remser ting op ved biler, som koster andre end bilisten penge, som bilisten ikke fuldt ud selv betaler for uden en skat på kørsel.

Man forsinker andre, fordi andre biler gør at du kommer langsommere frem (når der ikke er så mange har det ikke den store effekt). Jo flere biler der er, jo mere er der tendens til køer. Jeg har et powerpoint slide fra min undervisning. og her For at opsummere: "congestion" fører til forlænget rejsetid (34 timer pr. pendler om året), spildt brændstof (2,2% af årligt forbrug), forhøjet CO2 udslip (18 mio tons/året), forurening er årsagen til 8.600 "premature" fødsler, hvor den største omkostning er den forlængede rejsetid, idet den rejsetid kunne have været bedre brugt på f.eks. arbejde.
I Toronto er prisen for trængsel estimeret til at være 3,3 milliarder dollars + 2,7 milliarder dollars fra mistet BNP fra tiden brugt i trafik i stedet for arbejde.

Ja en benzinbil forurener både globalt og lokalt. En elbil forurener kun globalt og det afhænger af hvor effektivt og grøn ens energi produktion er. Derfor giver det mening at afgiften på den her front er lidt mindre for elbilen.

Risiko for uheld: Der sker biluheld. Det koster både i skader og sundhedsvæsenet. Skaderne kan spores tilbage til bilerne. Teknisk set hvis nogle biler er sikre end andre og derfor har en mindre risiko for uheld, så bør de have en mindre skat, men man skal også huske at når der bliver reklameret for at en bil er sikker, er den så sikker for chaufføren og passagererne eller alle andre? (nok mest chaufføren og passagererne).

Skade på vejene. Når biler - specielt tunge biler - bruger vejene, slider de dem - går specielt ud over broer. Med tiden kommer der huller og andre skader, som så kræver vejarbejde, som koster penge.

Ulemperne ved trængsel, forurening og biluheld er kort gjort op her i den meget berømte bog, Freakonomics, af Steven Levitt og Stephen Dubner: - her bliver det faktisk understreget at forurening ikke er bilers største omkostning:

  • "The texas transportation institute estamtes theat in 2000 the 75 largest metropolitan areas experienced 3.6 billion vehicle hours of delay, resulting in 21.6 billion liters in wasted fuel and 67.5 billion dollars in lost productivity, or about 0.7% of the nation's GDP"

  • "Aaron Edlin and Pinar Mandic in a paper i was proud to publish in the Journal of Political Economy, argue convincingly that each extra driver raises the insurance cost of other drivers by about 2000 dollars. Their key point is that if my car is not there to crash into, maybe a crash never happens. They conclude that the appropriate tax would generate 220 billion dollars annually."

  • "If you can believe Wikipedia's entry on the carbon tax, the social cost of a ton of carbon put into the atmosphere is about 43 dollars. (Obviously there is a huge standard error to this number, bus let's just run with it.) If that number is right, then the gas tax needed to offset the global warming effect is about twelve cents per gallon. According to a National Academy og Sciences report, American motor vehicles burn about 160 billion gallons of gasoline and diesel each year. At twelve cents a gallon, that implies a 20 billion dollar global waming externality. So relative to reducing congestion and lowing the number of accidents, fighting global warming is a distant third in terms of reasons to raise the gas tax."

    Mere vejplads: Alle vejene er blevet bygget for bilister. Derfor giver det mening at bilister betaler prisen det har kostet af bygge vejene for at bruge dem på en måde der sikrer at det går lige op. En gang var vejene faktisk privatejede og man betalte en afgift for at køre på dem, men nu bliver det anset som et offentligt gode. Cliff Winston snakker her (dog kontroversielt blandt selv økonomer) om hvordan toge, lufthavne og veje burde være privatejede:
    Andre økonomer ville mene at mange at problemerne ville kunne løses ved bare at give færre subsidier til veje, lufthavne og toge og samtidigt skabe betaling for vejene.

    Den her artikel forklarer noget af det: - se skemaet over omkostningerne.

    Andet godt læseligt (ift. parkering):
u/djrobstep · 1 pointr/melbourne

> It didn't spread out because cars take up room.

Yes it did. Building car parks and highways causes sprawl.

Read anything about the history and causes of suburban sprawl and you'll find out that this is exactly what happened.

You can tell that this is the case because in places like Amsterdam where they didn't do this, people generally don't own cars, and bike everywhere.

Read this for instance:

Or just watch this:

u/lovela · 1 pointr/LosAngeles

Interesting point but I disagree.

You're citing Donald Shoup, the author of the paper I linked above. He did the full economic analysis and believes that we should eliminate parking minimums.

He also is very clear that we should charge appropriate prices for street parking.

Eliminating parking minimums is not a subsidy to property developers and property owners. Charging below-market fees for street parking is.

Since you cited Shoup as your primary evidence, in addition the the previously-linked article (, I'd also check out his book (paper here

[Longer-term, I suspect that self-driving cars are going to make it so that we call cars using our phones. They'll actually park farther away from the denser areas where people live. In that case, I hope we don't cast huge parking lots into concrete when they could be built into things that have productive use.]

u/ngroot · 1 pointr/chicago

> I would also like to see any research indicating a co-relation between parking rate increases and reduced "externalities". Pollution is a garbage excuse. The people are not parking downtown but they are still driving.

However, they're not driving around looking for parking, and everyone else isn't subjected to the increased congestion that that causes. This is addressed, evidence and all, in The High Cost of Free Parking.

u/danbrotherston · 1 pointr/waterloo

There are free 2 hour parking lots all over the uptown area:

As for street parking, if you're so close that the 2-3 minutes (uptown is really small) spent looking for a parking spot is longer than driving, you really could choose to bike or walk then, and save the parking for those coming much farther.

Additionally, this is a very strong argument for charging for street parking. If parking wasn't free, it could be priced such that there is always a space or two on every block. Then those who need quick parking, could use that, instead of parking being filled with people who could easily walk, or who are employees, etc.

This isn't my idea of course, the book, The High Cost of Free Parking, makes an extremely compelling argument for no free parking:,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch

u/precordial_thump · 1 pointr/nyc

Hah. This article has the gall to cite Donald Shoup while complaining about taking away free on-street parking?

Perhaps they should have a read through The High Cost of Free Parking and then revisit this article.

u/ChristopherStefan · 1 pointr/SeattleWA

> If we start charging for parking everywhere in the city neighborhoods will see less traffic, but less people will be interested in going in to check out the stores/restaurants/events.

Or you know, maybe more people will walk/bike/take transit.

Parking is one of the largest subsidies to SOV drivers. Professor Donald Shoup lays it all out in The High Cost of Free Parking.

u/heygorges · 1 pointr/asheville

For the wonks out there, check out the book "The High Cost of Free Parking." Made a lot waves when it came out in 2011.

u/oldbkenobi · 1 pointr/pittsburgh

You should check out this great book when you get a chance. We are all paying a lot for "free" parking, and those costs are often unfairly passed on to people who don't or can't drive to subsidize drivers.

u/cfamethuselah · 1 pointr/Calgary

Sometimes it's good to provide info and let people come to their own conclusions. If you're interested in how parking policy shapes land-use, affordability and opportunity in cities here's a great read. I can lend you my copy if you like.

u/downstairsneighbor · 1 pointr/Seattle

There's a theory floating around that increasing the number of parking spaces in a neighborhood actually has a negative effect.

It's debatable, but seems to resonate a lot with people here.

u/kettal · 1 pointr/canada

Actually, many transit agencies do charge pass holders for parking. Just like hospitals do.

If you want to learn more about why that's a good thing, feel free to read The High Cost of Free Parking

u/RVelts · 1 pointr/Austin

Parking is expensive. This book is a great read on that:

u/sharpcowboy · 1 pointr/TrueReddit

I also recommend this book for those who are really interested in the subject.

From a review: " Shoup zeroes in on the reason for such problems: we assume that parking should be free. Shoup points out that if we decided that gasoline should be free, the result we would expect would be obvious: people would drive too much, shortages of gasoline would develop, fights would break out over scarce gas, and governments would go broke trying to pay for it all. Shoup shows that parking is no different. Providing free parking leads to overuse, shortages, and conflicts over parking. Cash-strapped local governments and neighborhoods lose out, too. Free parking is like a fertility drug for cars. Many people don't realize how much of the high price of housing is due to requirements by local governments that a certain number of parking spaces must be provided. These costs are paid by everyone, including those who don't own a car."

u/joeydsa · 1 pointr/Atlanta

There is no such thing as free parking. It cost money to build and maintain parking spaces, and that cost typically gets past on through the resident via either rent or purchase price. You pay for the premium weather you want to or not, but by requiring parking by law, you force others to pay for the premium as well.

If you're interested, I would recommend The High Cost of Free Parking by Donald Shoup

u/pacifictime · 1 pointr/LosAngeles

All I'm saying is that if neighbors would like to convert a public street into a private parking lot, they ought to pay for that privilege. I'm not actually opposed to PPDs, I just felt someone should respond to /u/kheszi.

Parking requirements are actually a pretty thorny subject when you look at them close. If you're interested I recommend Donald Shoup's work.

u/glmory · 0 pointsr/LosAngeles

Parking is a low value use of land which discourages the growth of public transit. There is no good reason for LA to be mandating anyone build more parking than makes economic sense.

I refer you to this book for a good description of why the quest for too much free parking just makes cities worse places to live.

u/robbysalz · 0 pointsr/Dallas

And actually, NO, I'm going to completely approve this.

Dallas needs more density and less parking surface lots. Areas with balanced density are areas with focused economic/business/life activity.

Read a book, bro

  • High Cost of Free Parking by Donald Shoup

  • Walkable City by Jeff Speck

    You haven't answered the question of whether or not the DHA has addressed your issues. What's your motive for wanting to deny requests? What other issues are you envisioning? How can they be addressed?
u/greencoat2 · 0 pointsr/nashville

Free parking is literally one of the worst things ever to happen to cities.

The High Cost of Free Parking, Updated Edition

u/TedWashingtonsBelly · 0 pointsr/burlington

Recommended reading for individuals who don't actually know anything about parking policy: The High Cost of Free Parking
, Walkable City

u/drfuzzphd · -1 pointsr/cincinnati
u/thekbob · -1 pointsr/japan

How is posting the truth of the situation "heels dug in?" Everyone used public transportation or walking for almost all of human history and most nations do so except one really big standout; the USA.

I have an issue because I've read about how cars have changed the American landscape, from creating the idea of personal debt in America, or how they are an unfair cost burdening the lower class.

All without even talking about the terrible environmental impact they've had on our society. Cars are really, really bad and we should be having a hair on fire moment to change that now.

u/kylemacmac · -3 pointsr/vancouver

Y'all might not want to realize the implications of this, but I strongly encourage you to read The High Cost of Free Parking.

u/sumerced · -4 pointsr/Minneapolis

This is a plagiarized title and most of the content is probably plagiarized too.