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Wiki Wednesday: Parking Policy

4:52 PM EDT on September 10, 2008

268083322_dde7d5af1d.jpgWhen a coalition of public interest groups including Transportation Alternatives released the "Suburbanizing the City" report last month, we learned that, following current New York City parking policies, the construction of new off-street spaces is projected to result in over a billion additional miles driven per year by 2030. Startling as it was, this statistic crystallized what many livable streets advocates already accept as conventional wisdom: more parking equals more driving.

It follows, then, that the StreetsWiki entry on parking policy would be a thorough one, covering everything from the shredding of urban fabric in the 1950s to state-of-the-art concepts like parking meter districts and variable pricing:

Ideally, rates between on-street and off-street spaces should besimilar, with the most convenient spaces priced the highest. This iscontrary to the usual practice, where parking meter rates are minimaland spaces in parking structures are set far higher, reflecting thecost of providing them. This results in drivers “cruising” for parking,adding significantly to traffic and pollution.

With advocates actively urging New York City planners and transportation officials to adopt consistent, coordinated regs more suited to the urban environment -- and as progressive policies are explored in other cities -- expect the parking policy page to be a StreetsWiki favorite for some time to come.

To contribute to this or any other StreetsWiki entry, or to add your own, start by joining the Livable Streets Network.

Photo: christinaa/Flickr

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