In many cities of the USA, parking is cheap and this may contribute to urban developments where automobile dependency may incrase, undermining planners’ effort to increase public transport access. This is what the authors behind the article, “Public parking fees and fines: a survey of US cities”, conclude.
“The role of policies in regulating the supply and cost of parking in inducing automobile use has been understudied,” said lead author Amy Auchincloss, PhD. “Indeed, the lack of systematic large scale data on parking costs has prevented researchers from even looking at this question.”
Over the past 25 years, the number of miles people in the USA drive, has increased three times faster than the population of the country. Low density urban sprawl and related form of settlements have encouraged automobile dependency and has aggravated the challenges of providing comfortable and “cheap” mass transit.
“The zoning regulations and price distortions that induce high automobile use have serious consequences for urban environments,” said Weinberger. “They degrade air quality, imperil safety and use a lot of land that could be used for parks, schools, stores and other things. By understanding the role of parking and how parking rules are enforced, policymakers are more likely to improve everyone’s mobility.”
Source: Low Parking May Encourage Automobile Use (Drexel University, 24 March 2014)