April 19, 2006


Chicago looks at changing parking meter rates (Matthew Blake, 4/13/06, Medill News Service)

Revamping how Chicago sets parking meter rates could help raise money for city services such as mass transit, a community planning organization says.

The Metropolitan Planning Council suggests the city put in more parking meters and set charges based on demand for parking in that area. Busy business districts would cost a lot more than residential areas. [...]

The concept is the brainchild of Donald Shoup, a professor of Urban Planning at UCLA. Pasadena, Calif., adopted the idea and in its first full year collected an additional $1.2 million for civic improvements.

Under Shoup's concept, meter rates are increased in high-traffic areas until drivers stop circling in hopes of finding a "cheap" parking space.

According to Efrat Dallal, of the Chicago Department of Revenue, city aldermen usually have the discretion to establish the location of parking meters and meter rates in their specific wards.

Shoup contends these decisions in Chicago are based on political favors and not economic factors.

If there is a homo economicus then you can get him to change his behavior by making some decisions more rational than others, no?

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 19, 2006 9:15 AM

Yes, you certainly can. Most likely by deciding to shop somewhere else. This especially is nonsense on stilts:

"Parking is a deterrent to an active retail district," asserted Janet Metzger, transportation director for the Center for Neighborhood Technology. "A lot of people see parking lots as an unfriendly sea they don't want to cross."

The Whole Foods/Best Buy complex near me is a gridlocked madhouse on weekends and the entire Clybourn corridor is stop and go from mid-morning on. But I'll guess I'll believe some mass transit advocate instead of my own lying eyes.

If parking meter fees are substantially increased, the traffic is going to overflow onto the residential side streets. The residents are then going to demand permit parking. all businesses will suffer and any business more than a couple of blocks from an El stop is going to suffer greatly or close down.

Posted by: Rick T. at April 19, 2006 11:31 AM

No one ever goes there anymore, it's too crowded.

Posted by: oj at April 19, 2006 11:37 AM

Exactly, Yogi. I sure don't unless I walk over. Valet parking for a grocery store? Please.

Posted by: Rick T. at April 19, 2006 12:26 PM

I agree that the nonsense is on very high stilts.

Homo economicus gets in his car and moves out of the city.

He doesn't leave over parking fees, of course. crime is the main factor, and the crimes against his children in the public schools are usually the precipitating factor. Parking fees are just one more little inconvenience to remind us that it is time to trek forth once again.

Posted by: Lou Gots at April 19, 2006 12:57 PM

Thank God for the suburbs. No parking meters or parallel parking.

Posted by: sharon at April 19, 2006 1:25 PM