Shoup Explains the Hidden High Cost of Free Parking

Donald Shoup, distinguished research professor of urban planning, appeared on the podcast The War on Cars to discuss issues that arise as a result of providing free parking. Author of the book “The High Cost of Free Parking,” Shoup explained that cars are parked 95% of the time so a major concern becomes finding places to put these cars. Prioritizing cars has detrimental effects on housing costs, congestion and climate change, he argues. One of the policy solutions Shoup proposes is having more parking meters on the street and using revenues to improve the neighborhood. “All the meter money has to go for services on the metered block so that people and businesses on that block see that if there are meters, they get clean sidewalks, they get healthy street trees,” he said. This type of change can garner political support because residents will see a direct benefit in their communities, he said. 


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