How Free Is That Parking Outside of Downtown?

I thought this video was very interesting and brings up some great points. Although cities in New Zealand are used as examples the exact same principles apply right here. Soon, downtown Raleigh will install pay stations for on-street parking that has, mostly, been free for decades. What is not being talked about are the plans to lower or eliminate the minimum parking requirements (MPR) in downtown.

The video suggests that paying to park is like paying for what you use rather then buying goods at prices that factor in the cost of the MPR. In theory, eliminating MPR should lower prices and give the consumer more of a choice. That choice being to pay to park or use another mode of travel to avoid paying. The cost to provide that parking is not passed on to the consumer where it is in the “free” parking lots of the suburbs.

Interesting stuff!

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  1. Very good video Leo. Lots of good points. For me, it’s about more sustainable living practices, and the need for a shift in people’s behavior to live in more densely populated areas that are more conducive to getting around by using mass transportation or simply walking. Unfortunately, I believe most people consider this lifestyle shift as a move backwards. But for people like me who choose to live downtown, it is clearly a move forward. Attaining a sense of freedom from the over-dependency on the automobile, is a nice feeling and a more enjoyable way to live. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I think that jasdelaney said it very nicely. I would also like to add that in most cases it is the city’s comprehensive plan that allows for the mess we’ve seen in Raleigh. We still lack strong urban guidelines that while not restrictive, they would allow for denser, more urban neighborhoods. Until we get the urban guidelines in place – and follow them – the over-dependency on the car will continue, as well as the need for easily-accessed parking spaces.

  3. Jenna, I took a look at the Comprehensive Plan (take a look at it here, and if it has not been done already, it looks like there will be reduced or eliminated MPR for the downtown overlay district. This includes the CBD and the areas around it, like Glenwood South, the government districts, etc.

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