If developers were allowed to face directly the high land costs of providing so much parking, the number of spaces would be a result of a careful economic calculation rather than a matter of satisfying a legal requirement. Parking would be scarcer, and more likely to have a price -- or a higher one than it does now -- and people would be more careful about when and where they drove.Read the full story at New York Times.
The subsidies are largely invisible to drivers who park their cars -- and thus free or cheap parking spaces feel like natural outcomes of the market, or perhaps even an entitlement. Yet the law is allocating this land rather than letting market prices adjudicate whether we need more parking, and whether that parking should be free. We end up overusing land for cars -- and overusing cars too. You don't have to hate sprawl, or automobiles, to want to stop subsidizing that way of life.
As Professor Shoup wrote, "Minimum parking requirements act like a fertility drug for cars."
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