Feb 24, 2009

Two problems, one solution?

[Update: Looking for more parking policy information?  
Try Reinventing Parking.]


Problem 1: Is parking a hellish nightmare for your local business or shopping district? Do drivers complain that they can never find a parking space? Is the roadway clogged with honking vehicles searching for a parking spot?

Problem 2: And are the local public facilities in terrible shape? Are the footways cracked? Drain covers broken? Rubbish uncollected? Are the street plantings (if any) dying?

Does that sound familiar? Donald Shoup suggests a single solution to both of these problems:
Performance-based pricing (would solve Problem 1) with the revenues returned to the local area to be spent on solving Problem 2.

Shoup explains more in an article in the Feb 2009 edition of the Parking Today magazine: The Price of Parking on a Great Street

As I have said before, I suspect this policy would be perfect for many of Asia's cities. Can anyone suggest a city in Asia that might be willing to do a trial?

Here is an excerpt from Shoup's article:
Performance-based prices can balance the varying demand for parking with the fixed supply of curb spaces. We can call this balance between demand and supply the “Goldilocks principle” of parking prices: the price is too high if many spaces are vacant, and too low if no spaces are vacant. When a few vacant spaces are available everywhere, the prices are just right. After the city adjusts prices to yield one or two vacant spaces in every block (about 85 percent occupancy), everyone will see that curb parking is readily available. In addition, no one can say that performance parking prices will drive customers away if almost all curb spaces are occupied.

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