Parking is a mystery. Many public agencies push for more parking in buildings, but, rather than alleviating the parking problem, it leads to massive traffic jams, severe air pollution, and more road deaths. Under the illusion that density creates congestion, public agencies also control building density. However, it is parking, not density, that creates traffic congestion. Excessive parking supply that is cheap or free induces people to use personal motor vehicles—even when good public transport is provided.
Cities across the world are now realizing their past follies. They now follow a simple mantra—Add transit, Build density, Cut parking. Put another way, where there is good connectivity to mass rapid transit, building density is welcome but parking supply is not. Parking fee is pegged to parking demand—when demand increases, fee also increases. Revenue thus generated is used to build complete streets—with better walking and cycling infrastructure—and expand public transport.
Parking Basics outlines these key principles and steps involved in managing on-street parking and regulating off-street parking.
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