"Parking guru" Prof. Shoup believes inexpensive space for cars is at the root of urban problems

From Chicago Tribune/LA Times:

According to Shoup, free parking is at the root of many urban ills: congestion, sprawl, wasteful energy use and air pollution.

City governments contribute to all these ills, he says, by requiring too many parking spaces for all development. The high cost of the required parking increases the prices we pay for everything else, including housing. "We have expensive housing and free parking," he says. "We have our priorities the wrong way around."

The city of Ventura's meter rates were set at $1 an hour for the first two hours and $1.50 for each hour after that, with the aim of achieving 85% occupancy. Put another way, 85% occupancy — which Shoup considers ideal — would leave one or two open spaces per block. The city said it plans to adjust rates as needed. If parking use drops below 80%, the prices will be lowered until the 85% goal is achieved.

He puts parking in its place. Chicago Tribune/LA Times, 10/2010.

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