The Cost of Free Residential Parking

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No Curbside Access for Trucks Create Traffic Jams Across the City

There is a source of congestion on every city street that has a solution. We need trucks to deliver goods to our stores, deliver food to our restaurants and to move furniture into and out of our homes. 100% of Manhattan’s goods enter the island by truck. But there is no curbside place for trucks on most of our streets to make their necessary deliveries. Instead, we see situations like this where trucks are forced to double park, congesting a street, accumulating lots of tickets (which get passed onto consumers), causing lots of horn honking which disrupts the neighborhood all while they are performing a necessary task to sustain our economy. This is the cost of turning a side street over to 100% free residential parking.

I’m not saying I want more trucks on the streets (in fact, I would love to see fewer Fresh Direct trucks). I just think folks should recognize that we need trucks to make the city work and through simple changes in parking regulations, we can accommodate them, improve quality of life by reducing congestion, noise and  the costs to small businesses that get passed on to consumers.

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We’re reprinting this reply [PDF] from UCLA professor Donald Shoup, author of the High Cost of Free Parking, to Randal O’Toole, the libertarian Cato Institute senior fellow who refuses to acknowledge the role of massive government intervention in the market for parking, and the effect this has had on America’s car dependence. It’s an excellent […]

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