Looks like an interesting lecture being given in Berkeley this Fri.
September 8, 2006
4:00 to 5:00 p.m. in 240 Bechtel Hall
Donald Shoup, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Urban Planning, UCLA
The High Cost of Free Parking
About 87 percent of all trips in the U.S. are made by personal motor vehicles, and drivers park free for 99 percent of these trips.
If drivers don’t pay for parking, who does? Everyone does, even if they don’t drive. Minimum parking requirements in zoning ordinances explain why free parking is so plentiful in the United States.
Initially the developer pays for the required parking, but soon the tenants do, and then their customers, and so on, until the cost of parking has diffused everywhere in the economy. When we shop in a store, eat in a restaurant, or see a movie, we pay for parking indirectly because its cost is included in the prices of merchandise, meals, and theater tickets.
We unknowingly support our cars with almost every commercial transaction we make, because a small share of the money changing hands pays for parking. We don’t pay for parking in our role as motorists, but in all our other roles-as consumers, investors, workers, residents, and taxpayers-we pay dearly.
Even those without cars have to pay for “free” parking. Donald Shoup will explain how faulty data from the Institute of Transportation Engineers helped get us into this mess, and how we can get out of it.