• The case for the $6 parking meter

    by  • January 20, 2012 • Bike Parking • 0 Comments

    If Newark’s parking meters are truly worth $15,000 per year at $1.25 per hour, imagine what even half this amount ($3) could yield? Maybe actually $15,000, and a more equal level of service for foot/pedal traffic.

    The Boston Globe The search for a parking space on the streets of downtown Boston can warp a person’s world. Fire hydrants become symbols of thwarted hope. Other drivers become bitter enemies. Signs assume the properties of Talmudic texts, calling out for interpretation and bedeviling us with their complexity. As we drive in circles, sweating and honking hopelessly, our eyes dart around and the clock ticks. Happiness is the sight of red taillights coming on as someone prepares to leave; temptation is a taunting yellow placard offering garage space for $15 an hour. In dense, urban areas like Boston, as many as 30 percent of cars on the street are cruising for parking at any given time.

    Making parking more expensive may sound like an outrageous solution to already frustrated drivers, but Shoup’s concept of demand-responsive pricing has been gaining traction in American cities over the past decade. Supporters see it as practical, even necessary. A city like Boston could adjust prices so that spots cost just enough to keep one or two free on every block. If that equilibrium were achieved, it wouldn’t just make parking quicker — it would help the city as a whole by reducing pollution, preventing accidents caused by distracted drivers, and nudging more people to walk, bike, or take public transit.  [Read full article …]

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