The New York Times
June 18, 2018
Market prices for curb parking do not mean only the rich will park on the street — remember, the permits are market priced, based on the users’ willingness to pay. Because cities are typically segregated by income, the rich will compete with each other for curb parking in their own neighborhoods and pay higher prices than the rest of the city. Richer neighborhoods with higher parking prices will earn more revenue, but power equalization will send much of this money to poorer neighborhoods with lower parking prices.
Several cities across the country are considering parking benefit districts, but for the most part they are putting them in commercial areas. How well would they work in residential areas? Manhattan would be a good place to find out, because 78 percent of households do not own a car.
Diverse interests across the political spectrum can find things to like in a parking benefit district. Liberals will see that it pays for public services. Conservatives will see that it relies on market choices. Drivers will see that it frees them from moving their cars for street cleaning. Residents will see that it improves the neighborhood. Environmentalists will see that it reduces energy consumption, air pollution and carbon emissions. Elected officials will see that it depoliticizes parking and pays for public services without raising taxes.
Cities can fairly and efficiently manage their curb space as valuable public real estate used for private parking. They can stop subsidizing cars, congestion and carbon emissions, and instead provide better public services.
Parking benefit districts can improve cities, the economy and the environment, one parking space at a time.