Analysis Of Donald Shoup's Yes, Parking Reform Is Possible?

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Free parking? It sounds like an idea too good to be true, and that’s because quite possibly, it is. At least that’s what Donald Shoup argues in “Yes, Parking Reform is Possible”. A public policy which allows an extensive amount of parking in a crowded city at little to no cost, regardless of budgets or consequences, will have serious negative effects to a community. Shoup predicts that we can achieve major social, economic, and environmental advantages at virtually no expense merely by subsidizing people and places, rather than parking. Donald Shoup summarizes his case in three easy principles: charge fair-market prices for curb parking, invest the resulting revenue in developments for areas like public neighborhoods, and eliminate off-street …show more content…
Problems in inner-city populations often become apparent only after solutions are presented. Now with technological advancements available, it is simpler to identify all the problems caused by off-street parking requirements and use that information to determine an ideal parking rate. The best demonstration of such a system is San Francisco’s impressive pilot program called SFpark, which modifies curb parking prices to attain a target occupancy rate by utilizing sensors that track the vacancy of each space in real time. This flexibility of parking prices means there is always sensibly-priced parking available for the general public, and businesses don’t have to worry about being affected because these curb spaces will always remain almost fully occupied. Shoup states that “SFpark embodies two key ideas. First, you cannot set the right price for curb parking without observing the resulting occupancy rate. The goal is to set the lowest price the city can charge without creating a parking shortage. Second, small changes in parking prices and location choices can lead to big improvements in transportation efficiency.” (Shoup, p …show more content…
The second point that Donald Shoup makes is that people simply disagree with having to pay for parking at all, though they might not be as strongly opposed to it if they saw that that hard earned money was being put to work in their community. Coins inserted into a parking meter seem to literally disappear into thin air. If citizens don’t see where this money is going, why would they accept being charged for something they consider should come free? Possible uses for these funds could be sidewalk repair and upkeep, graffiti removal, street lighting maintenance, and tree trimming or planting, just to name a few ideas. Almost every neighborhood could benefit from one or more of these services, as the town of Old Pasadena surely did. Shoup proves this concept by using the example of how this area of Los Angeles county was positively impacted by public services financed solely from parking meter collections, more than one million dollars a year. He continues adding, “…New public services helped convert what had been a commercial skid row into one of the most popular tourist destinations in Southern California…Dedicating the revenue to paying for local public services can be the political software necessary to create local popular support for performance prices.” (Shoup, p 34). Shoup leads into performance pricing, or determining the right price for a location based on the demand curve, because of course the amount being

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