Parking signalBy Donald Shoup

The most emotional topic in transportation planning is parking. When it comes to parking, rational people quickly become emotional and staunch conservatives turn into ardent communists. Critical and analytic faculties seem to shift to a lower level when thinking about parking. Some people strongly support market prices—except for parking. Some vehemently oppose subsidies—except for parking. Some abhor city planning regulations—except for parking. Some insist on rigorous data collection and statistical tests—except for parking. This parking exceptionalism has impoverished many discussions about planning for parking. Unfortunately, city planners rarely consult parking professionals when deciding how many off-street parking spaces to require for every building in the city, or how to set prices for scarce curb parking spaces.

ACCESS Magazine has just published a special issue on parking. The authors in this issue have tried to take a rational and rigorous approach. Click here to read it. You can also sign up for a free subscription to ACCESS at the same link.

Donald Shoup is a distinguished research professor in the department of urban planning at the University of California, Los Angeles, and author of The High Cost of Free Parking.