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Free Parking Fallacies

FREE PARKING FALLACIES 3-8 THE U.S. HAS AN ESTIMATED America's highway and parking systems were put in place in the country's wealthiest years, during the period between World War II and the oil crises of the '70s. This spirit of excess led to urban-planning practices that treated parking as an afterthought (even though it often takes up more space than the buildings it surrounds), resulting in a country overstocked with underused parking spots. PARKING SPACES FOR EACH CAR Sot 90% Sulfur emissions Carbon dioxide ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT 25% 10% Cars pollute, but building and maintaining their parking pollutes, too. Parking spots add 90% to each American car's lifetime emissions of soot, 25% to its sulfur emissions, and 10% to its C02. If all of America's parking spaces were clumped together, they would take up an area larger than AND DELAWARE RHODE ISLAND? COMBINED 10% to 20% of parking is found in municipal garages or curbside. 80% to 90% of parking demand is served by surface lots." MINIMUM PARKING REQUIREMENTS Parking minimums are a big part of America's landscape. When entrepreneurs start a new business or developers build a new property, they have to obey municipal regulations, which dictate how many parking spots the property will need. These minimums are rarely revisited or studied, and in 45% of cases are simply copied directly from nearby cities, with little scientific basis for the minimum. Has anyone actually done a study on minigolf courses' parking needs, and if not, what purpose is served by specifying them? SOME MINIATURE GOLF COURSE PARKING REGULATIONS SANTA ANA, CA 6 3 spaces per hole PHOENIX, AZ 1.5 spaces per hole plus one space for every 60 sq. HOUSTON, TX 1 space per hole ft. of game room area 60 ft CAFE PARKING ONLY CAFE BIG MONEY FOR FREE PARKING One researcher found that, depending on assumptions about the number of parking spots nationwide and those spots' building and operating costs, the indirect costs to Americans of free parking that year was $105 billion to $310 billion in 2011 dollars. Those figures equaled 1.2 to 3.7% of total U.S. economic output. $310b $18.5b BILLLON/YEAR 2011 BILLION/YEAR 2011 NASA budget " National subsidy for free parking " $705.6b $65.5b BILLION/YEAR 2011 BILLION/YEAR 2011 National defense Federal education budget 2 spending " PARKING IS WORTH MORE THAN CARS" $12,000 $6,542 Estimated annual average value of parking for ne vehicle Average depreciated construction value of roads, per $5,507 Approximate average value of one U.S. vehicle vehicle WHAT SIGNS TELL US ABOUT PARKING" 15 The online retailer's sales statistics show that the public is embracing more organized parking - whereas twenty years ago, the market was dominated by a few basic templates, customized parking signage is selling like never before. Median time allotted on time-sensitive parking signs: HOUR PARKING HOUR PARKING CUSTOMER PARKING ONLY CUSTOMER PARKING ONLY PARLING CUSTOMER PARKING ONLY in 2008 45 Between 2009 and 2013, sales of 1 hour parking signs DECREASED by 66%. MINUTES MINUTE IU PARKING MINUTE PARKING in 2013 10 VINITE PARKING STRICTLY ENFORCED STRICTLY ENFORCED 20 STRICTLY ENFORCED MINUTES Over the same period, sales of 10 minute parking signs INCREASED by 89%. Retailers are recognizing the benefits of higher turnover - and turnover is one alternative to sprawling lots. Private lots are increasing use of permits to organize parking; at the same time, permit systems are being adopted by progressively smaller lots, indicating a shift in how owners understand and take responsibility for these PARKING PERMITS Search traffic for the term "Parking permits" is up 170% over the last five years. • Decline in average size of parking permit orders, 2008- 2013: 50%. areas. PERMIT PARKING ONLY MOVING FORWARD All of these statistics add up to the same thing: parking lots are more organized and information-rich than they used to be. There are other ways to get back money that towns and property owners spend on parking, too: dynamic pricing, in which drivers pay according to demand, widespread adoption of paid parking spots and a nationwide rethinking of whether we really need parking minimums. We still have a long way to go before tighter, more organized lots translate into more land for other productive uses. SOURCES 1. Chester, Mikhail, Arpad Horvath, Samar Madanat. 2010. "Parking Infrastructure: Energy, Emissions, and Automobile Life-cycle Environmental Accounting." Environmental Research Letters. (5) 3. (Accessed on March 19, 2013 from 2. Ben-Joseph, Eran. 2012."A Lot in Common." In Rethinking A Lot,1-50. Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press. 3. Ibid. 4. Ibid. 5. Shoup, Donald. 2011. "Unnatural Selection." In The High Cost of Free Parking (2nd Ed.), 21-74. Chicago: American Planning Association. 6. City of Santa Ana Municipal Code, 1371 Sec. 41 (, accessed March 25, 2013.) 7. City of Phoenix Zoning Code, 702 Sec. C. (, accessed March 19, 2013.) 8. City of Houston Parking Requirements (, accessed March 25, 2013.) 9. Shoup, Donald. 2011. "Changing the Future." In The High Cost of Free Parking (2nd Ed.), 589-605. Chicago: American Planning Association. 10. Ibid. 11. NASA. 2013. Fiscal Year 2013 Estimates. P. 7 (htt://, accessed March 19, 2013.) 12. Congressional Budget Office. 2011. The U.S. Federal Budget: Infographic. (Available online at, accessed March 19, 2013.) 13. Office of Management and Budget. 2013. Fiscal Year 2013 Budget of the U.S. Government. P. 100. (, accessed March 19, 2013.) 14. Shoup, Donald. 2011. "Putting the Cost of Free Parking in Perspective." In The High Cost of Free Parking (2nd Ed.), 205-223. Chicago: American Planning Association. 15. MyParkingSign internal study. 2013. My Parking Sign Designed by:

Free Parking Fallacies

shared by MyParkingSign on Apr 15
Excessive free parking is costing America an amount that many individuals aren't aware of.


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