Get a Parking Space…THEN Buy the Car

A region in India has begun a program of requiring those purchasing cars prove they have a parking space before the car can be licensed. Read about it here. This is not a new idea, China has been using the idea for a number of years. Even so, they have a 60 mile long traffic jam outside Beijing. It’s a way to limit the purchase of vehicles. It also ensures that only a certain “class” of person can acquire a vehicle. If you have to have a parking spot, you probably also own a house or a business. Seems a bit elitist.

My suggestion is that the government could relax its regulations and assist the private sector in building parking facilities. I understand that this is a chicken or egg kind of thing, but if you are going to require a parking space, and cars are popular, then the business of building parking spaces would seem to be booming. To “jump start” it, the government might fast track the permit process for garages, loosen the zoning requirements, and be certain the inspection process is quick and fair. I’ll bet that investment money would flow into parking facilities.

Of course if the idea is to keep the number of cars under control in the world’s second largest country, then the opposite approach might be effective.


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One Response to Get a Parking Space…THEN Buy the Car

  1. Paul Barter says:

    I am not so sure it is elitist, John. In Japan, this policy has been in place since the 1950s. In the Japanese version of ‘proof-of-parking’ you don’t need to own a parking place. You just need proof that you have rented/leased one.
    A key result was a market for leased parking in every neighborhood. Cheap in the suburbs. Expensive in the inner cities.
    Preventing car ownership was not the goal. The main aim (just like in the Indian proposals) was to keep parked cars from clogging the streets at night. But it probably does dampen car ownership in the inner cities where such parking is expensive (but anyway, transit is very good in those areas in Japan).
    I explain more about the Japan approach to this at http://www.reinventingparking.org/2010/08/japan-style-proof-of-parking.html
    All the best

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