Smart Parking Revisited; Lessons from the pioneers

In the past, parking problems were resolved by building new garages and countless parking spaces. With lack of economic and land use resources, the trend is moving towards using strategic demand-responsive pricing modules to make the most out of existing parking supplies. Supported by new research, notably the book, The High Cost of Free Parking by Donald Shoup, FAICP (updated and issued in paperback in 2011), and the actual results of early adopters, cities large and small have learned that smarter parking management can be a valuable tool for revitalizing downtown districts, improving the customer experience, and reducing both traffic and parking congestion. Cities large and small, realizing that they can’t afford to build their way out of parking problems, are exploring demand-management approaches that help increase the efficiency and user-friendliness of the existing parking supply. When these approaches are implemented thoughtfully, they can increase parking availability, reduce traffic congestion, and generate revenue to pay for improvements that merchants and residents want. The next time you are circling endlessly for an empty parking space or worrying about a parking ticket at the end of an otherwise enjoyable evening, you may just decide it’s time that your community joined the parking revolution.

American Planning Association

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