Monday, 11 January 2010

The High Cost of Free Parking

Here’s a book I’d not heard of before. Perhaps hardly surprisingly, as it offers a detailed critique of the social costs of free car parking in the USA, the most car dependent nation on earth.

Donald Shoup:

There are at least three parking spaces for each of the 230 million vehicles in the United States the total space devoted to parking in America amounts to an area about the size of Connecticut.

Parking is free to the driver for most vehicle trips. Free but not cheap. According to evaluations by Mark Delucchi of the University of California at Davis we spend about as much to subsidize off-street parking as we do on Medicare or national defense. The additional driving encouraged by free parking also increases traffic congestion, air pollution and accidents.
To fuel this extra driving we import more oil and pay for it with borrowed money.

Details and reviews of the book here.