4.3.16

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS FREE PARKING.

But what the government subsidizes it gets more of.
In a world without benefits, driving commuters will increase and public transit riders will decrease. The same patterns and results held true in Baltimore (Maryland), Philadelphia (Pennsylvania), Newark (New Jersey), and New York (New York).
The passage refers to what appear to be survey outcomes.  Change the incentives, and that changes the behavior.
It seems that offering commuters incentive to use public transportation just is not enough. In order to truly change the minds and decisions of commuters, cities must simultaneously create disincentives to drive and park.
Sometimes, the authorities have to do very little. That appears to be the case in Chicago, where ever-more-crowded expressways (widening, no widening, changing the traffic flow at the Mixmaster, removing the left-side slip ramps notwithstanding) and increased downtown parking charges likely contribute to increases in Metra riding, even off-peak and at weekends.

There's a provocative Strong Towns post suggesting that government-subsidized parking is an upscale failure of socialism.
And while Vancouver prides itself on multi-modal transportation options, with less than half of trips into its downtown in cars, free parking is still sacrosanct for many. Jens [von Bergmann] makes a good point that Vancouverites pay lots of money to buy private property to live on, and then continue to pay property taxes for that privilege. However, we pay nothing to store our vehicles on public roads.
The article goes on to note that, whether the parking involves no cash outlay, the land devoted to parking lots is land that has an alternative use.  There always is an opportunity cost.

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