Skip to main content

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.


Popular posts from this blog

Podcasts on urban mobility and urban issues: a LONG list

Here is my list of podcasts on urban mobility and urban issues. 

Please use the comments to send tips or corrections.

If you are not yet a regular podcast listener, you need to download a podcast-listening app to your phone, tablet or desktop and subscribe to the podcasts that interest you (it's free).

UPDATE 1: This list has many podcasts but obviously I hope you will try mine! They are Reinventing Transport and Reinventing Parking.

UPDATE 2: I have added FOURTY THREE more since this was first published.

Transport-based City Types and their Trajectories

I want to help you get perspective on your city and its transport system with the help of simple city types based on their dominant transport modes, such as Walking Cities, Transit Cities, Bus Cities, Motorcycle Cities and Car Cities.

This way of thinking about cities is a heuristic (an imperfect mental model or technique that is nevertheless good enough to be helpful). And it obviously is imperfect. For example, real cities often have various modes of transport, and modern cities are really all some kind of hybrid city type.

But it is still useful, especially if we add the idea of a Traffic Saturated City, which is a very different beast from a Car City. It is important for change-makers in Traffic Saturated Cities to be aware they are not in automobile dependent cities yet.

Options for digesting this: 
Read the brief article below and study the diagrams. They complement the podcast. For more depth, LISTEN to the 37 minute audio with the player above. A full transcript of the podcast is…

Parking: What's Wrong and How to Fix It

We should stop planning parking the way we plan toilets. I began with that odd (but true) statement to get your attention, obviously. But I am also serious.

Many people think parking policy is boring, which is unfortunate, because boring or not, parking is important.

If you care about cities and urban mobility, you really need to pay some attention to parking.

Most local governments really do plan parking the same way they plan toilets (using minimum parking/toilet requirements) and it is disastrous. More on that below.

Municipalities do this because of another mistake - treating on-street parking as a public good (and therefore failing to manage it properly). Please take note: parking in cities is generally NOT a public good.

These two mistakes cause huge problems:
1. on-street parking problems, which worsen many other mobility and street problems, and  2. a slow-motion disaster of increasingly excessive (but under-used) off-street parking supply which fuels car dependence.

It's …