Why parking is underpriced
I hate paying for parking — doesn't everyone? — but I do it anyway because, in my own cost benefit analysis, driving downtown and paying for parking is more convenient than taking (and paying for) the bus. But despite all of our groaning and moaning, parking is severely underpriced.The high price of paying to park in Cambridge
How can you tell? There are no open spots! "The right price for curb parking is the lowest price you can charge and still have one or two vacant spaces on every block," says Dr. Donald Shoup, author of "The High Cost of Free Parking" in a short documentary by Streetfilms. In fact, in some neighborhoods and cities, 40 percent of all traffic is actually just people cruising for parking! This is bad for the environment, bad for pedestrians, bad for our cities, and yes, even bad for commuters.
San Francisco is experimenting with Shoup's ideas to change the scape of its own parking (and traffic) situation through a program called SF Park. The program will adjust parking garage based on demand and share availability on spaces and information on prices in real time, all of which should eventually make it easier to find a parking space. For now, spaces will stay at the normal range of $2 to $3.50 an hour, but the hope is to scale prime spaces up to $18 an hour during peak hours.
I think the plan sounds good because of it's transparency — I love the idea of being able to have your phone tell you where you can park! What do you think?