Donald Shoup brilliantly overcame the challenge of writing about parking without being boring in his iconoclastic 800-page book The High Cost of Free Parking. Easy to read and often entertaining, the book showed that city parking policies subsidize cars, encourage sprawl, degrade urban design, prohibit walkability, damage the economy, raise housing costs, and penalize people who cannot afford or choose not to own a car. Using careful analysis and creative thinking, Shoup recommended three parking reforms: (1) remove off-street parking requirements, (2) charge the right prices for on-street parking, and (3) spend the meter revenue to improve public services on the metered streets.
Parking and the City reports on the progress that cities have made in adopting these three reforms. The successful outcomes provide convincing evidence that Shoup’s policy proposals are not theoretical and idealistic but instead are practical and realistic. The good news about our decades of bad planning for parking is that the damage we have done will be far cheaper to repair than to ignore. The 51 chapters by 46 authors in Parking and the City show how reforming our misguided and wrongheaded parking policies can do a world of good.
Read more about parking benefit districts with a free download of Chapter 51 by copying the link below into your browser.