Town Square

Post a New Topic

PARKING PROGRESS: "The High Cost of Free Parking" by Donald C Shoup

Original post made by John hackmann, Professorville, on Sep 4, 2012

Parking downtown, and neighborhood parking, seems like it needs a fresh look. This book (2011) mentions PALO ALTO many times, and may contain facts and evidence that is useful.

This story contains 185 words.

If you are a paid subscriber, check to make sure you have logged in. Otherwise our system cannot recognize you as having full free access to our site.

If you are a paid print subscriber and haven't yet set up an online account, click here to get your online account activated.

Comments (3)

Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Sep 4, 2012 at 9:55 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Stanford University learned long ago that free parking lead to a lot of wasted time looking for a parking space and diverted money for parking programs from its primary educational mission. In 1976 Stanford introduced paid parking and the results have been impressive. Lots of new parking structures built with parking revenues, bike and pedestrian paths built with parking revenues and the Marguerita shuttle serving Stanford and surrounding communities paid for by parking revenues. Not one dime of educational funds go to the care and feeding of automobiles. And in the process large central portions of the campus where automobiles had been free to drive and park were converted to automobile exclusion zones and now have become pleasant pedestrian and bicycle spaces.

Free goods are never allocated in a responsible or fair manner. Parking is no exception.

Like this comment
Posted by Cedric de La Beaujardiere
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 5, 2012 at 12:18 am

(I can't login to the system for some reason)
Assuming I'm thinking of the right author, Donald Shoup's strategy is to find the right price for parking such that 85% of the spots are parked and 15% are free at any given moment, statistically. The aim is to have 1 or 2 spots free each block so you can park instead of endlessly circling and causing more traffic trying to find a spot. There was a survey of drivers, I think in NYC, showing that -- if I recall correctly -- 25% of the drivers were actually looking to park! Of course, that's a bigger city, but I wouldn't be surprised if downtown PA was comparable.

Like this comment
Posted by Right On!
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 21, 2014 at 2:04 pm

Would somebody please send a copy of this book to the Transportation Division and City Council? This should be on their required reading list.

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Sam's Chowder House Palo Alto to become burger chain
By Elena Kadvany | 25 comments | 12,029 views

Sing and celebrate
By Sally Torbey | 7 comments | 583 views


Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund

For the last 23 years, the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund has given away more than $4 million to local nonprofits serving children and families. When you make a donation, every dollar is automatically doubled, and 100% of the funds go directly to local programs. It’s a great way to ensure your charitable donations are working at home.