Mark nails it:
When you put ALL the pieces of a parking and transportation plan in place it can actually work. Too many Cities do it halfway and then can’t seem to figure out why their problems only multiply, so then they start undoing it which compounds the issues even more.
The Story in the Calgary Herald tells the tale. The Canadian city pulled together a transportation plan involving rapid transit and then found that more people were using the trains and buses than they had capacity. It almost worked too well.
What was one of the major drivers to get people out of their cars? From the Article:
And then there’s downtown parking, which is also viewed as important to managing downtown traffic.
Limited parking and high demand has contributed to some of the highest monthly parking rates in North America. The median rate in Calgary for monthly unreserved parking is $472.50, according to July’s Colliers International report.
In North America, only New York City posted higher rates – something that’s had local critics calling on the city to change policy that limits how much new parking is built. Yet, the expense of parking is seen as another reason some Calgarians have been leaving their cars at home.
Of course. People are driven by self interest. If it cost $450 a month to park, and $50 a week to ride the train, duh. People are going to take the train. However in many cities such as Houston and Los Angeles, it is a matter of scale. Taking 60,000 people off the freeways like they did in Calgary would be a drop in the bucket here. And the distances required for the train lines is substantially more.
Congratulations to Calgary — Now if I can just figure out how to find a car pool here in LA that will get me where I want to go…