Interview with Parking Guru Donald Shoup

The idea of minimum parking requirements for buildings sounds like a great way to ensure adequate space for personal vehicles at no charge for residents. However, this seemingly benign regulation comes at a high cost. A recent Market Urbanism interview with expert Donald Shoup reveals the dark underlying consequences of legal parking minimums.

Shoup, author of The High Cost of Free Parking, explains in the article that, “minimum parking requirements subsidize cars, increase traffic congestion, pollute the air, encourage sprawl, increase housing costs, degrade urban design, prevent walkability, damage the economy, and penalize poor people.” He argues that by forcing the workplace to provide free parking, the government is incentivizing commuters to drive alone to work, contributing to freeway congestion, pollution, and higher costs to companies and buildings who often have to construct underground parking in order to comply with this rule. He also notes that “free parking” is never truly free. Often when a company is forced to offer parking spaces, wages are lower than they would be otherwise in order to make up for the cost the company takes on to build parking lots or garages.

He goes on to debate the merits of new technologies¬†like autonomous vehicles, noting that, “All of the parking reforms I recommend will shift the cost of parking to drivers and they will therefore accelerate the adoption of autonomous cars.”

Click the link to read the full article: