Explain how the concept of free parking and excessive off-street parking requirements might impact the demand for and use of transportation facilities. What would you expect to be the impact of the concept on Anthony Downs “triple convergence principle”?
g this, there are two policies that present problems: the first, that city governments mismanage curb parking, and second, that city governments required developers to provide free parking or extensive off-street parking (Klein, 2006).
In truth, free parking is not free, since easily the required parking for a business establishment, such as a restaurant, may occupy a space three times that of the establishment itself. In the US, the subsidy to parking may easily reach $127 billion to $374 billion annually, not yet counting curb parking which is either free or underpriced (Shoup, 2005). Furthermore, it makes people feel that they are entitled to free parking as a right.
Free parking and off-street parking, when carried to excess, tends to “increase traffic congestion and air pollution, distort urban form, degrade urban design, increase housing costs, limit homeownership, damage the urban economy, harm the central business district, and penalize poor families (Shoup, 2005:592). More importantly, it has an effect on the demand for public mass transportation facilities. Because parking becomes convenient, there is a general tendency for people to choose to travel in their own private cars, instead of taking public transportation, or even in lieu of cycling and walking (Shoup, 2005:2-3). It was found that in urban neighbourhoods that are required to provide parking spaces, residents were 28% more likely to travel by automobile than residents in areas where parking supply is optional and therefore less (Litman, January 2010). Since private cars would be able to carry travellers from their homes to within close proximity to their destination, the convenience afforded by free parking makes it the transportation medium of choice.
Pursuant to Anthony Down’s triple convergence principle, there are three types of convergence: spatial convergence, when drivers tend to come together at peak hours to a principal thoroughfare; time convergence, when more cars elect to ...
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