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The High Cost of Free Parking

Free parking isn't really free. In fact, the average parking space
costs more than the average car. Initially, developers pay for the
required parking, but soon tenants do, and then their customers, and
so on, until the cost of parking has diffused throughout the economy.
When we shop, eat in a restaurant, or see a movie, we pay for parking
indirectly because its cost is included in the price of everything
from hamburgers to housing. The total subsidy for parking is
staggering, about the size of the Medicare or national defense
budgets. But free parking has other costs: It distorts transportation
choices, warps urban form, and degrades the environment.

It doesn't have to be this way. In The High Cost of Free Parking,
Donald Shoup proposes new ways for cities to regulate parking, namely,
charge fair market prices for curb parking, use the resulting revenue
to pay for services in the neighborhoods that generate it, and remove
zoning requirements for off-street parking. Such measures, according
to the Yale-trained economist and UCLA planning professor, will make
parking easier and driving less necessary.

The High Cost of Free Parking
by Donald C. Shoup.

Update: 15 % of parking should be empty spaces.

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