All Parking Access Should be Equal — Not!
The Boston Globe has jumped on the “lets report about parking” bandwagon. Its a very long article talking about demand based pricing, San Francisco, and the like. We have all read about it before, but you can reread it again here.
The writer veers off the track a bit when he says:
If Back Bay spots floated up to a market price, lower-income drivers would effectively lose access to parking spaces that they have as much legal right to as anyone else. The result, ultimately, would be a city where the rich have access to whatever spots they want, while everybody else has to settle for what’s affordable.
Everything must what, cost the same, be the same, and we should all have access to the same? What is that all about. I think we know, and so does Karl Marx. However my buddy in Singapore, Paul Barter, (who is a much nicer guy than I am) over at Reinventing Parking puts it well:
How does having the ‘legal right’ to park have anything to do with how parking should be priced? I have a ‘legal right’ to rent an apartment in the most prestigious street in my city. The fact that I, like most people, can’t afford to do so has nothing to do with whether apartments should be market-priced. Of course, if significant numbers of people can’t afford any decent shelter we must look for solutions. In market economies, those solutions are (usually) targeted and don’t abolish market pricing for real estate generally. In any case, surely parking in busy urban streets is much less of a basic need than housing.
He goes on in detail to back up his point at the blog. Check it out.
I am amazed at people who carry these “everything must be equal” beliefs as they drive cars that others can’t afford, live in houses or apartments that few can afford, teach in tony universities that few can attend, yet whine about equality as if it must work for everyone but themselves.