Chart of the Day: Parking Pricing and Behavior Change

Here’s a chart passed along to me by a reader, from one of the many long but interesting (FTA) Transit Cooperative Research Program reports.


parking and social change chart

This comes from a chapter on parking pricing, filled with case studies about how the hidden costs of parking rarely get passed on to the end user.  Changing that relationship is difficult!

Here’s the description of transit alternatives:

The degree to which parking pricing will be effective in trip reduction also depends upon the traveler’s perception of the comparability and quality of available travel alternatives. If transit service is to be an effective substitute for driving, it must be direct enough and frequent enough to offer convenient access and competitive travel time, as well as being attractively priced. The same holds true for carpooling and vanpooling, where incentives in parking priority or preferential lanes or access can help offset inherent limitations in flexibility and travel time compared to driving alone. Employer subsidization of transit fares, carpool and vanpool parking, or other financial incentives can help balance the scales in making non-drive-alone modes competitive.

I’ve long thought that parking is the one tool that cities unequivocally control, and that cities should use parking policy as more a lever to create change. This chart seems to confirm that it can have a big impact.

On the other hand, discussions about this can really bring out the mouth breathers. If people have spent their whole lives getting something for free, it’s really hard to ask them to pay for it.

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.