Friday, July 31, 2009

Shoup Talks Tacoma Parking

The City of Tacoma and the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber teamed up to sponsor a public lecture and conversation with renowned parking expert and UCLA professor Donald Shoup. City staff, residents, business owners, and students gathered at UWT on Wednesday morning to talk parking in Tacoma.

But parking is not just about parking, according to Professor Shoup. He has done extensive research on connections between parking and transportation, land use, economic development, and the environment. His engaging presentation was rich with Tacoma examples and images. He also highlighted United States' car-centric culture and the consequences on our cities, health, and land. (Did you know that there are 18% more automobiles than there are licensed drivers in the U.S.?)

Professor Shoup is well-known for his analysis of the "high costs of free parking," arguing that while a driver may not pay a direct fee for pulling into a "free" parking space, there are hidden costs for the community, businesses, and he advocates for charging the right price for parking, which is the lowet price that will still maintain some vacant slots. He also advocates for parking meter revenue to go directly to the neighborhoods that genereate it so people see the connection between their fare and safety, cleanliness, and aesthetics.

After the public lecture, City Staff stayed for a private conversation with Professor Shoup.

If you weren't able to get your dose of parking this week (or if you want more), here is a link to a 2007 New York Times editoral by Professor Shoup.

1 comment:

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