Brand & Martinez for September 11, 2012

What does Los Angeles have against free parking?

Courtesy Downtown LA Neighborhood Council

An artist rendition of one of the pocket parks headed for Downtown

There's a growing, vocal movement in urban planning to cut back on parking — free parking, to be specific. Cities like San Francisco and New York have turned parking spots into pedestrian friendly public spaces. Could LA be next?

An ordinance goes into effect next month that will cut back parking requirements for new businesses in the San Fernando Valley. If Donald Shoup has his way, that's just the beginning.

According to Shoup, the problems with free parking means no one pays for the cost. Which means everyone else pays for it: the homeowner, the taxpayer, the merchant and consumers — everyone except the person actually parking.


Donald Shoup, Professor of Urban Planning at UCLA and author of "The High Cost of Free Parking"

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