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Reflection paper - Essay Example

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In this article he says that free or low priced street parking is the cause of traffic congestion and air pollution in urban areas and suggests that adopting fair-market pricing helps alleviate…
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Reflection paper

Download file to see previous pages... Each one of us is familiar with the experience of having to drive several times around city blocks looking for parking space. In this article, Donald Shoup says that various studies have shown that on average 36% of cars in congested downtown traffic were cruising, looking for curb parking. The article cites a 2008 study for a 15-block area of Upper West side of Manhattan where the average cruising time was only 3.1 minutes and the average cruising distance only 0.37 miles. Even for such small time and distance, the high traffic density causes 366,000 miles of excess travel that puts out 325 tons of carbon dioxide every year into the atmosphere in the area. As we know from our own experience, cruising times and distances in most large cities is several times larger than the Manhattan area numbers cited above.
Urban planners have sought to remedy urban parking problems by legislation requiring any new redevelopment plans in downtown areas to provide space for off-street parking. The high prices for land in such areas or the simple fact of non-availability of sufficient land have prevented much needed redevelopment in crowded downtown areas. The second solution attempted has been to install parking meters and charge high prices for parking and time limits such as 30 minutes or one hour for parking. These time limits are often impractical. For example someone going for a meal in a restaurant or for a show in a theater would need much longer parking time. High parking rates are also opposed by retailers and businesses in the area that fear that these rates would drive their customers away to other streets where parking may be easier.
Donald Shoup advocates a deceptively simple solution for the urban parking problem. He recommends that parking prices be set to achieve an optimum 85% occupancy rate which translates to 1 or 2 open slots in a city ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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