Paved Paradise: How Parking Explains The World.

It’s a new book by Henry Grabar, a staff writer for Slate. I haven’t read the book, but I have read an extensive interview of Grabar and I think I have a pretty good feel where he is coming from. You can find the interview on parknews.biz. Frankly, it’s a dumbed down version of Don Shoup’s “The High Cost of Free Parking.”

He talks about how drivers spend an inordinate amount of time looking for parking. However I think he misses the point – people are spending time looking for free or cheap parking. My experience is that there is parking available, but often it costs. And of course we all know it’s in the Magna Carta of the Bill of Rights, that parking should be free.

This is absurd. You pay the initial cost of a car, you pay for insurance, fuel, maintenance, and all the other costs of driving, but you somehow feel that the ‘right’ to park the car, that is to take up space that belongs to someone else, should be free.

It would seem to me that if one pays the true cost to park, whether it is at your office, or outside a shopping mall, sports arena, or other your doctor’s office, that much of the so called parking problem would go away.

Rather than having parking as a commodity, why can’t it be like anything we purchase. Let the parking space owner set the price based on the service supplied. I would love to pay a few bucks more and get a clean, safe, well lighted, available place to park. Wouldn’t you?

Graber tells stories about the horrors of parking, Wouldn’t it be great if the stories about parking were uplifting, and parking became a positive experience.

Think about it.


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