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Title: The High Cost of Free Parking

Author(s): Shoup, Donald

Published: 1997 by Journal of Planning Education and Research, Vol. 17, No. 1, Fall, pp. 3-20. (Reprinted in shortened form in Access, No. 10, Spring, pp. 2-9.)

Online Access: http://www.uctc.net/papers/351.pdf

Abstract: Urban planners typically set minimum parking requirements to meet the peak demand for parking at each land use, without considering either the price motorists pay for parking or the cost of providing the required parking spaces. By reducing the market price of parking, minimum parking requirements provide subsidies that inflate parking demand, and this inflated demand is then used to set minimum parking requirements. When considered as an impact fee, minimum parking requirements can increase development costs by more than 10 times the impact fees for all other public purposes combined. Eliminating minimum parking requirements would reduce the cost of urban development, improve urban design, reduce automobile dependency, and restrain urban sprawl.

Category: Transportation Economics     

See other articles by the author(s): Donald Shoup

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