The High Cost of Free Parking, Updated Edition

Category: Architecture
Author: Donald C. Shoup
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by jseliger   2020-02-17
What's the name of this mythical city?

If the condo complex is sufficiently unattractive, few people will want to live there, and prices will fall to the point where buyers or renters accept the low price and the associated hassle. That's a market decision. If the condo complex is, let's imagine, 50% lower than market, then maybe people will accept the parking situation.

and there is no transit available anywhere near there

Then residents might try demanding it from the city government.

You may like this: book.

by kovu159   2019-11-17

Uh, go to Palms at 7pm and try to park.

If you actually care about this, here's a great book about the issue. Parking in Westwood can take 15-20+ minutes due to a parking shortage, which promoted an economist to try to determine what pricing strategies could be used to solve the parking shortage in the city. The shortage is very real and has very real costs.

by jsvh   2019-11-17

It's because we try to push too much free parking in this city. You can write a book about it:

This article can give you an overview:

-Also a former valet driver.

by drfuzzphd   2019-07-21

Read Me!

by HDThoreauaway   2019-07-21

You should take a skim through Donald Shoup's The High Cost of Free Parking, and give a Google to "induced demand." It becomes clearer what the operating theory is.

by alpaca_obsessor   2019-07-21

Because it’s generally accepted that unbundling the price of parking from housing aides in greater flexibility of mobility choice, more affordable housing, and ultimately serves as a better way to charge people directly for their use of this ‘commodity.’

Some literature on the topic:

The Hidden Cost of Bundled Parking - Access Magazine

“Unbundling” Parking Costs is a Top Way to Promote Transportation Options - Mobility Lab

Unbundling Parking Isn’t Easy but It’s Worth It - The Greater Margin

The High Cost of Free Parking

by Texas_Indian   2019-01-13

The High Cost Of Free Parking

by WindPoweredWeeaboo   2019-01-13

There's a 600 page book on it

by washegonorado   2018-11-10

I don’t think ample on-street parking is necessary or even desirable for a great neighborhood. In fact, I’d say all the neighborhoods and towns I’ve most enjoyed living in and visiting have all had atrocious parking. There are private parking spaces for rent in Cap Hill if a lack of parking is a personal problem for you. Not to mention, there are minimum parking requirements in Denver (except for parts of downtown) which will force this developer to include plenty of parking in any residential structure.

(Side note, I'd bet that it's easier to find parking on Pearl Street on a Friday night than it is to find an urban planner who believes minimum parking requirements are good for society, but that's another topic, or book )

by benhurensohn   2018-11-10

The High Cost of Free Parking, Updated Edition

by unclebumblebutt   2018-11-10

Driving around looking for parking represents ~1/3rd of all vehicle miles travelled.

More: [

Edit: more on the 1/3rd VMT that says it may be much lower

by Bellspringsteen   2018-03-19
Totally about parking. is a great book. Its all about parking in some ways.
by TheLostOne   2018-03-18
As a German who never owned a car (have driver license 30+ years) and never will, hurray!

Next: Petrol cars please.

Costs for cities would decrease a lot [1], room for bicycles would increase, noise would drop to a level which can't believed, ambulances would be adjusted to walking persons instead of loud cars with their stereos on and air would be wonderful.


by jseliger   2018-02-26
File under "good news:" . Even Ace Parking is likely implicitly subsidized by zoning codes.
by jseliger   2017-08-19
There was no parking garage for the new bars and restaurants, so all visitors simply parked in the residents' neighborhoods

This is a solved problem: Charge for parking and the shortage goes away. Meter technology is decades old and well understood.

by oftenwrong   2017-08-19
This is pretty much the definitive book on the subject:
by davidw   2017-08-19
There was some of that where I lived in Italy, very little in Austria, and it was all much better than having vast, empty parking lots sitting there while house prices climb and climb.

by jseliger   2017-08-19
Gosh I hope we can figure this out in my lifetime.

Me too. BTW, The High Cost of Free Parking by Shoup is amazing on this issue (). Totally changed my perspective when I read it.

by lancewiggs   2017-08-19
I would think that contractors need to dig a deep hole to ensure the foundations of the building are secure - get into the bedrock, especially in earthquake zones. Whether the car parks are below or above ground is moot.

That said - The High Cost of Free Parking (1) and The Walkable City (2) are both excellent reads on the matter of parking and car parks. The second is the more readable.

(1) (2)