Parking thoughts

Applicable to the City of Sacramento, but also to any urbanized area:

  • Any block on which parking capacity regularly fills on any day of the week and any time of day should charge parking fees.
  • The price of parking should be managed so as to always have at least one free space per block (the Shoup criteria)
  • Any block with mixed use should have one spot per block for bike racks and scooter parking, and one spot for ride-hailing and delivery use. These spots could be in the space daylighted by red curbs for crosswalk visibility.
  • The fees paid for by residents for parking permits should be sharply increased so that they more closely reflect the cost to the city of providing car storage space for car-owning residents.
  • The income from all new parking fee areas should go into a fund to be spent on the neighborhood that generated it, to enhance livability. It should not go into the general fund, and not be used to bond against. (again, the Shoup criteria)

Free and underpriced parking is one of the largest subsidies the city provides to car owners, but everyone who doesn’t own a car or has on-property parking pays for the subsidy. Which is not fair, and which encourages car ownership and car use.

I’m not suggested we get rid of on-street parking, it is a good use for some of the space we’ve set aside for it, but we do need to manage it more intentionally for the benefit of everyone and all modes of transportation, and charge for what it really costs.

Much more could be said, but that is enough for today.

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