Saturday, October 16, 2010

Nice Profile in LA Times of Prof. Don Shoup & His Campaign Against Free Parking

The LA Times today profiled Urban Planning Prof. Don Shoup whose book on "The High Cost of Free Parking" is widely cited, including this nice photo. As a previous post has noted, Prof. Shoup has also campaigned against parking on sidewalks around UCLA.

The article is at,0,4071324,full.story

An interesting local observation from the profile:

In Shoup's view, Old Pasadena and Westwood Village illustrate the effects of different parking policies. In 1993, Old Pasadena installed $1-an-hour meters and began using the revenue to spruce things up. Many area employees who had parked on the street and moved their vehicles every two hours began to pay for parking in city structures, so that curb spaces were freed for customers. The shift helped transform the area from a blighted eyesore into a vibrant destination with shops and restaurants. Shoup doesn't take credit for Old Pasadena's change, but he often uses the area as Exhibit A in his talks. That same year, Shoup said, merchants in Westwood petitioned the city to cut meter rates from $1 an hour to 50 cents. Curb parking was underpriced and overcrowded, and the meter money flowed into the city's general fund rather than back to the area. Today, Westwood Village residents and merchants bemoan the cracked, trash-strewn sidewalks, neglected landscaping and numerous vacancies.

Too much car-love is the bottom line:

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