Shoup’s Impact on Parking in a Canadian City

Canada’s National Post featured the work of Urban Planning Professor Donald Shoup in a commentary about Edmonton’s decision to remove all minimum parking requirements from real-estate developments in the city. Renters and homeowners who receive a “free” parking space pay a hidden cost regardless of whether they use the space, he argues. Free parking also encourages people to drive to work instead of considering alternatives such as public transit. After decades of research, Shoup came to the conclusion that all public parking spaces should be metered, ideally from hour-to-hour or minute-to-minute, with the money being used in the neighborhood where it was generated. He has encouraged cities to stop requiring an arbitrary number of free parking spaces, arguing that most urban parking lots show less-than-optimum use. Edmonton will be the first city in Canada to allow builders to use their own judgment in allocating parking to housing units and offices.

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