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The cost of parking minimums

Access Magazine has a good piece on parking minimums and the cost they create for our cities. The article is by Donald Shoup, who is Professor of Urban Planning at UCLA. He is also the author of The High Cost of Free Parking.

Here is his argument:

“Minimum parking requirements create especially severe problems. In The High Cost of Free Parking, I argued that parking requirements subsidize cars, increase traffic congestion and carbon emissions, pollute the air and water, encourage sprawl, raise housing costs, degrade urban design, reduce walkability, damage the economy, and exclude poor people. To my knowledge, no city planner has argued that parking requirements do not have these harmful effects. Instead, a flood of recent research has shown they do have these effects. We are poisoning our cities with too much parking.”

And here’s his summary of what it costs to build a parking stall in various US cities (both underground and aboveground):

To put these numbers into perspective, he also looks at the median net worth of US households (2011) to show just how expensive this parking is for some groups. 

Because remember, these parking costs get embedded into the cost of housing, retail stores, and so on.

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