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The ills of free or cheap parking: Ask Donald Shoup

By dcuff
Monday, October 18th, 2010 at 1:46 pm in Uncategorized.

The high cost of parking irritates many motorists these days, but some say free or cheap parking is a bad thing. Donald Shoup, a UCLA professor of urban planning, has become the academic godfather of those who blame free parking for causing congestion, pollution, urban sprawl and other auto-related ills.

Now when you want to shop in Walnut Creek or try a restaurant in Oakland, free parking doesn’t sound like such a bad idea. Shoup, however, argues underpriced parking creates an parking oversupply that harms communities with too many drivers and not enough people on public transit, bikes or on foot.

Click here to read about Shoup’s ideas in a Los Angeles Times story. 

For those who may find it hard to swallow the argument that pricey parking is good for your community, the story quotes one skeptic who worries that limiting mobility with expensive parking can be bad for the economy.

Personally, when I drive some place,  I would rather pay a modest parking fee than circle blocks endlessly looking for free space. Then again, I’m still smarting at paying a $40 parking fee at a Nob Hill parking garage in San Francisco to attend a music concert a couple years or so ago. (My wife had a foot injury that made it impractical to take public transit.) It could have been worse, though. The parking garage fee went up that night as  it got closer the start of the concert.

Share you thoughts below on what the price of parking should be on streets or garages.




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