In re: is free parking bad?

images3.jpgNot talking about Monopoly here, actually an interesting article on Slate about the economics surrounding city parking, where metered spots and street parking are often provided well below the rate they really should go for.  The article mentions how “Apparently it took until 2006 for someone to notice that the social cost of mandated free and under priced parking is nothing short of phenomenal, the implied subsidy being comparable to what we spend on Medicare or national defense. The someone who noticed is professor Donald Shoup of UCLA, who wrote a deeply thoughtful book on the matter called The High Cost of Free Parking.”  Anyway, as a fan of everyday economist articles, I thought it was interesting.  Oh and just my random thoughts concerning parking: I look out my window in downtown Columbus and see literally a see of blocks consumed by surface lots, and wonder why we can’t do something better with the space.  Of course surface lots seem like appealing investments, but thankfully one corner of these lots is being turned into downtown housing, hopefully the lots can be consolidated into some garages someday and some of the land reclaimed.

See Slate for “No Parking Anytime: Why parking your car is more environmentally destructive than driving it.

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  1. [...] In re: High Cost of Free Parking Posted on February 15, 2008 by ed I finished up Pillars of the Earth the other day and instead of starting in on another page turner (Pillars was just such a book, despite the topic of being about the building of a cathedral the book moves really fast and you get pretty taken into the back stabbing, the rivalries, and the crazy politics that existed circa 1100). Anyway I have a huge stack of books that are awaiting to be read and for some reason I have a lot of non-fiction in that stack (I think I should be reading more fiction, it moves quicker) but I’ve been meaning to get into  The High Cost of Free Parking. by Donald Shoup of UCLA (first mentioned In re: is free parking bad?) [...]

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