4. Buying Time at the Curb [chapter]

Donald C. Shoup
2020 The Half-Life of Policy Rationales  
I'll tell you how to solve Los Angeles' traffic problem. Just take all the cars off the road that aren't paid for. -Will Rogers American children first learn about free parking when they play Monopoly. Players buy houses, build hotels, or go to jail after a toss of the dice, and sometimes they land on "Free Parking." When children grow up and get their own cars, their odds of landing on free parking increase dramatically because drivers park free for 99 percent of all automobile trips in the
more » ... ted States. 1 You probably feel that you pay for parking on more than 1 percent of your automobile trips, and perhaps you do. Many of us undoubtedly pay for parking more frequently than others do. Americans make 230 billion vehicle trips a year, so motorists pay for parking 2.3 billion times a year (1 percent of 230 billion), but they also park free 228 billion times a year. 2 If motorists don't pay for parking, who does? Initially, developers pay for it when they provide all the parking spaces required by zoning ordinances. The cost of land and capital devoted to required parking raises the cost of all development, and this cost translates into higher prices for everything else, so everyone pays for parking indirectly. Residents pay for parking through higher prices for housing. Consumers pay for parking through higher prices for goods and services. Employers pay for parking through higher office rents. Only in our role as motorists do we not pay for parking
doi:10.18574/nyu/9780814729243.003.0008 fatcat:x2rhsmcv3na3nle6txqzha5pyq