Chart of the Day: Distribution of Parking Revenue

This is a chart from Donald Shoup’s parking tome, The High Cost of Free Parking.


Here’s Shoup’s explanation [from Chapter 12]:

Consider the lower left corner, which represents the current situation in almost every city: all curb parking revenue goes into the general fund and nothing goes to the neighborhoods. … Because everyone objects to paying for parking, and no one sees a direct benefit from the revenue, no one supports the idea of charging for cub parking … No consider the upper right corner, which represents the situation where cities return all curb parking revenue to the neighborhoods that generate it. No one wants to pay for parking — that will never change — but residents begin to think like landlords, not tenants, and they agree to form parking benefit districts that charge nonresidents for parking. Business owners also form Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) that use the curb parking revenue to finance public improvements in commercial areas. Because neighborhoods receive the revenue, citizens demand market prices for their curb parking, which in this example yields $100 million a year in new public revenue.

Think of downtown Saint Paul or Uptown Minneapolis, and you get the picture.

Bill Lindeke

About Bill Lindeke

Pronouns: he/him

Bill Lindeke has writing blogging about sidewalks and cities since 2005, ever since he read Jane Jacobs. He is a lecturer in Urban Studies at the University of Minnesota Geography Department, the Cityscape columnist at Minnpost, and has written multiple books on local urban history. He was born in Minneapolis, but has spent most of his time in St Paul. Check out Twitter @BillLindeke or on Facebook.