Chart of the Day: Parking Prices, Occupancy, and Revenue

Here’s a chart from Donald Shoup’s The High Cost of Free Parking, showing the difference between using parking pricing to maximize revenue (i.e. setting rates higher but having fewer cars occupy spots) and setting rates at “socially optimal occupancy”, where about 80% of parking spots are occupied at any given time.

Check it out; it’s a supply and demand curve:


Basically, many cities attempt to peg parking occupancy at around 80% by using pricing… any more and you generate a lot of extra traffic, any less and you’re not adequately using the public space to its potential.

Stay tuned for more on this important topic!

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.