In an interview with ITS International, Professor of Urban Planning Donald Shoup shared the key findings of his life’s work on parking and transportation. While most people don’t want to pay for parking, Shoup found that free parking takes up a huge amount of valuable land, and the cost of that land is shifted into higher prices for everything else. He also found that “free parking greatly increases the amount of driving, which congests traffic, pollutes the air and contributes to global warming.” To address these issues, Shoup recommended charging for curb parking, spending parking revenue on public services and removing off-street parking requirements in cities. Shoup believes that “better parking management can improve cities, transportation, the economy and the environment.” His recommendations are seen as a cheap and simple way to increase economic efficiency, protect the environment and promote social justice. “I’m trying to save the world, one parking space at a time,” said Shoup.
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