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.

JVH

Social Share Toolbar
Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to All Parking Access Should be Equal — Not!

  1. Andy Van Horn says:

    While I am sure that there are some people out there that believe that all things should be equal but I also think that one of the issues is that much of the time parking appears to be free (the street in front of my house, the mall in the suburbs, grocery store-at least in my neighborhood) but then in other locations it is not. This creates a disconnect in most people’s brains (mine included). When living somewhere the rent/mortgage is obviously paid by the people staying there (or at least you are only 1-2 steps removed from the person paying-and I can see that). Even when I go camping I pay a fee (don’t get me started on paying a “parking” fee at a state park when it is actually an entrance fee). But I do not pay to park on the street in front of my house or some other places…..at least that I see. My taxes are taken and applied and I do not see how it goes towards those on-street parking spaces; I do not see the correlation between my buying some eggs at the grocery store and lights in the parking lot. So it frustrates me to pay to park in one place but not in another until I remember what it costs to build, staff, insure, maintain, light, and secure a parking lot and who is paying for it. I only know this stuff or can even think it through because for the past 5.5 years I have worked for a parking magazine. Very few people outside of our industry even understand the costs and then trying to explain to them that they are paying for it one way or another will just make their head explode. Long term it will take a lot of explaining what it is that the parking industry does, what it costs and how it is paid for in order to make sense to those outside the industry. Just my 2 cents.

  2. Ahsan says:

    While I am sure that there are some people out there that beeivle that all things should be equal but I also think that one of the issues is that much of the time parking appears to be free (the street in front of my house, the mall in the suburbs, grocery store-at least in my neighborhood) but then in other locations it is not. This creates a disconnect in most people’s brains (mine included). When living somewhere the rent/mortgage is obviously paid by the people staying there (or at least you are only 1-2 steps removed from the person paying-and I can see that). Even when I go camping I pay a fee (don’t get me started on paying a parking fee at a state park when it is actually an entrance fee). But I do not pay to park on the street in front of my house or some other places ..at least that I see. My taxes are taken and applied and I do not see how it goes towards those on-street parking spaces; I do not see the correlation between my buying some eggs at the grocery store and lights in the parking lot. So it frustrates me to pay to park in one place but not in another until I remember what it costs to build, staff, insure, maintain, light, and secure a parking lot and who is paying for it. I only know this stuff or can even think it through because for the past 5.5 years I have worked for a parking magazine. Very few people outside of our industry even understand the costs and then trying to explain to them that they are paying for it one way or another will just make their head explode. Long term it will take a lot of explaining what it is that the parking industry does, what it costs and how it is paid for in order to make sense to those outside the industry. Just my 2 cents.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>