11 September 2008

More about car parking

I've posted before about the hidden costs of 'free' car parking, in relation to The High Cost of Free Parking by Donald Shoup. Writing about Australia in particular, Christian Seibert concludes:
Minimum parking regulations are costing Australia. A standard component of the urban planning frameworks of our towns and cities, they distort transport choices, skewing them away from walking, cycling, and public transport. They encourage the growth of sprawling cities that do not reflect their inhabitants’ true land-use preferences. They make housing more expensive, a particular concern given that housing affordability is a major issue in Australia. They harm those on low incomes, because they make basic goods, services, and housing more expensive for those who can least afford cars and so benefit least from parking. Finally, the parking lots built to meet minimum parking regulations blight our urban landscapes. There’s No Such Thing as a Free Parking Space
I agree. Minimum parking regulations are a typically well-intended, but ultimately destructive, over-reaction to a highly visible symptom. Policymakers can't see the forest for the trees and they confuse means with ends; the result is unpleasant and dangerous cities for everyone. Oh, and no solution to parking problems either. Social Policy Bonds would make us focus on objectives, rather than supposed means of getting there. And if there are no clear, agreed, unambiguous objectives, then we'd leave that policy area alone.

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