The High Cost of Free Parking by Donald Shoup

book jacket featuring graphic of Monopoly game with the free parking cornerThis book, considered a “classic,” frames free city street parking as a hippie delusion. He presents 700+ pages of nonsense to prove his premise without questioning multiple underlying assumptions.

The High Cost of Free Parking by Donald Shoup (2011), written by a Yale-educated PhD in ECONOMICS makes the argument OPPOSING FREE PARKING in this book. He claims free parking HURTS POOR PEOPLE.

I used interlibrary loan to read it after reading a reference to it as being ” the definitive” book on parking. I suspected from excerpts I would not agree with what his analysis showed and I don’t.


The book exceeds 700 pages. One wonders if his arguments were valid, would it take so many pages? So much arithmetic! So many calculations! So little objectivity in his analysis! SO MUCH WRONG with his arguments that I kept procrastinating my usual scrutiny and simultaneous commentary.

Alas, despite keeping it even one more week (overdue), I find I just don’t have the energy to tackle the necessary level of argument for a good rebuttal.

It’s hard to take on a “parking god” of urban planning, and a “parking rock star” (Wall Street Journal). A blurb from a planning professor put the author among some impressive company such as Jane Jacobs. He also cites a comparison to Lewis Mumford. I admire Mumford. I understand why Shoup’s hostility to free parking under the guise of saving the planet would seem like a superficial grasp of Mumford’s views. But the two authors are not truly addressing the damage of parking lots as an environmental issue per se.

People with Disabilities need Consideration in City Planning Parking Decisions

As I always do with urban planning books, I first check the index for words like “disability.” Mostly no listings appear. Obviously, absence in indices may not mean zero mentions in the books, but surely that indicates the lack of attention to disability as a topic.

The index entry for “disability” in full was “Disability parking placards.” Although he has some sensibility for people with disabilities (PwD), there is ZERO commentary about the complete inadequacy of municipal street parking dedicated for handicapped drivers. The 9th District Court ruled that municipalities MUST PROVIDE DEDICATED HANDICAPPED PARKING on city streets. This is not mentioned in the book much less discussed.

He wrote an essay on MAKING HANDICAPPED PEOPLE PAY FOR PARKING  that also gets attention in this book. Basically his solution for handicapped placard abuse: MAKE EVERYONE PAY FOR METERED PARKING. Once again he goes for the stick instead of a carrot. He even acknowledges that having to PUT MONEY IN THE METERS COULD BE A PROBLEM FOR PwD! And yet his conclusion is “ALL MUST PAY!”

His arithmetic assumes that all lost revenue by placard abusers would arrive magically without cost because all people will put money in the meters.

Enforcement has another ugly side: poor people (including disabled) too readily end up in JAIL as a consequence of unpaid parking tickets. First of all, tickets must be “properly priced” to discourage nonpayment. Properly priced according to Shoup equals PUNITIVE. That is, punitive to poor and more; the rich will always have the extra income so paying a relatively small fine to them is inconsequential.

Justice, as it has always been, can be bought. No inability to pay for them upon receipt but they have the extra money so it won’t ever be a choice between food for a week and the price of the ticket. Then, in another perfectly stupid concept, the people who couldn’t pay the fine in time in the first place get PENALIZED by jacking up the price, repeatedly. Then there are the late fees. PUNISH PUNISH PUNISH someone who is poor, disabled, made a simple mistake and lost track of time.

Throw them in jail. Cost them their jobs, their homes and their families. Only BAD PEOPLE don’t pay parking tickets or fail to put enough coins in meters. I wonder what the cost of jailing someone over a $20 parking ticket (originally) costs taxpayers?

PARKING ENFORCEMENT costs money. I checked with my city council member and he admitted that parking enforcement is a NET LOSS.

Shoup assumes all the meters will be pure revenue. Even if he had accounted for ticket revenue as well, he still ignored the cost of enforcement. Even if eliminating the free parking benefit for placard PwD increased revenue, the fact remains that enforcement costs. If everyone has to pay, then every vehicle has to be checked. Plus the absurd laws that forbid METER FEEDING (which is hard for PwD in any case, thus the extended times for handicapped parkers). Cars must be moved at least 2 blocks from the original street parking place instead of meter feeding. Hard to comply if the parking doesn’t exist. And of course, PwD often CAN’T WALK 2 BLOCKS from the new further parking place back to whatever they were doing (apart from having to interrupt their activities to do so).

Furthermore, the consequences of parking tickets for people with disabilities — and poor people with or without being disabled — to fight a ticket, requires time and energy we don’t have to spare.

Once again, the stick of enforcement hits people who accidentally exceed the meter time limit. Or maybe they didn’t have the right change. In any case, they get punished as hard as intentional malfeasance. Many people don’t carry change (or cash) anymore. Even vending machines can take credit cards. So guess what some cities have done to address the lack of cash? They spent millions of dollars to implement new parking meters that take credit cards.

In the essay by Shoup cited two paragraphs above, he even proposes solutions for enabling EVERYONE TO PAY by a phone app or similar. He thinks this solves the wheelchair users being unable to reach the parking meter problem. It does not. He has no conception of what varieties and barriers there are for PwD.

Some cities that offered free parking for PwD are eliminating it. On the surface this makes sense since being handicapped does not ALWAYS mean you are poor.

I tried for several hours to definitely discover WHY handicapped parking at street meters was made free in the first place. I did not find out why. If anyone knows, please comment.

Disability doesn’t ALWAYS mean you are poor — but it does most of the time, as this link to an NPR article describes. Here is a section from the article describing the difficulty of a man who got a job but faced many architectural barriers to go to work.

The problems started outside the building, where the strip next to the handicapped space where he parked was too narrow for the ramp he uses to unload his wheelchair. He had to park over the line on the other side to get out. He says if another vehicle had been parked in the adjoining space, he would have been stuck.

I highlighted the part about the employee having to park over the line so that it would be in your mind for one of Shoup’s bright ideas to discourage over the line parking further on in this post.

Poverty and disability do exist but the usual trope about disabled people are poor because they don’t have jobs NAUSEATES me. UNRESTRICTED BASIC INCOME (UBI) could lift everyone out of poverty, without requiring the forced wage labor of people with disabilities and many others. But that is a digression too deep for this article. It is also subject to capitalism forces that would simply cause all prices to rise. I have written about a great book on UBI in this blog (and I bought the book to read again it was so good). Sure many PwD want to work, but at meaningful jobs, just like everyone else would prefer. However, the system PUNISHES PwD for trying to work in many ways.

Besides which, the rich have made being poor a lack of morality. The poor, and the *suspected faking* people with disabilities are: lazy, shameful, “takers” instead of “makers” — “bad people” are the only ones who get sick a Republican legislator announced recently. We don’t deserve medical care if we can’t perform the lowest and meanest and most disgusting wage work out there like a MORAL person would before “accepting charity.” Such a crock!

Why I think “free parking” for PwD was Implemented

My theory has always been that cities believed that by providing free parking at city street meters THEY WOULD NOT HAVE TO PROVIDE DEDICATED HANDICAPPED PARKING PLACES. Never will I believe that government concern for disabled people being poor was the motive to give free parking for people with disabilities.

They were wrong (9th District Court ruling). FREE PARKING IS NOT EQUAL TO ACCESSIBLE PARKING!

Without DEDICATED HANDICAPPED STREET PARKING, able-bodied people will occupy all the parking spaces near the businesses we would like to patronize. Unlike the able-bodied drivers, Pwd would have problems having to park some distance away from their destination, walk or get around doing shopping, and then GETTING BACK TO THEIR CAR. Free doesn’t matter one damn bit. We need ACCESSIBLE PARKING.

Page 488-489 references disability placard abuse:

Free-for-all parking creates antisocial behavior because drivers will often park illegally — by a fire hydrant, at a bus stop, or in a space reserved for the disabled — if no legal curb spaces are vacant. THE ABUSE OF DISABLED PARKING PLACARDS IS ANOTHER DEPLORABLE and depressingly frequent violation.

You can tell the author is a conservative Republican because his solutions for parking issues all relate to punishment in one form or another. He clearly finds extreme measures of public shaming an acceptable enforcement technique.

Beyond booting, there are other promising proposals for parking enforcement. Cities can require drivers who park in loading zones to leave the key in the ignition, which the window open. drivers who park in zones with time limits can be required to leave their headlights on. To encourage parking between the marked lines, police can paint the part of a car outside the lines with fluorescent Day-Glo colors. Steve Martin supports the death penalty for parking offenses. (f. 33, p. 488)

Ha ha. Steve Martin is funny. Shoup is not funny. For example, when the police see a car parked over the lines, it might be because ANOTHER CAR WAS BADLY PARKED first. So the second driver made the best of the situation.

PAYMENT AND PUNISHMENT the Authoritarian Guide to Parking

Shoup jumps to all kinds of conclusions and makes unfounded assumptions all through the book. Even when he disputes the arithmetic of another study on parking for faulty premise or other errors, he makes mistakes like that himself.

Yet for all his aggressiveness proposing NO FREE PARKING for anyone, least of all EMPLOYEES (p. x), he actually admits (on p. 486) that:

Parking regulations cannot be strictly enforced if legal parking options are unavailable, but regulation, without effective enforcement merely creates confusion. To collect all the potential revenue from MARKET-PRICED curb parking, cities must ensure that drivers do not park without paying — and enforcement is thus vital.

He betrays his premise immediately by his factual statement that “parking regulations CANNOT BE STRICTLY ENFORCED if legal parking options are unavailable. . . .” Well, that’s a conundrum: on one side of his mouth he says EVERYONE MUST PAY OR BE PUNISHED (effective enforcement required). A moment a rational thought intrudes though, because despite 700+ pages decrying almost ALL PARKING for any reason unless it generates a PROFIT of 20% or more (p. x), he acknowledges that PEOPLE NEED PARKING. Tossing in the adjective for “legal” parking is disingenuous at best, referring more to the PLACARD ABUSE than routine payment at LEGAL METERED PARKING.

He conflates illegal parking (misuse of placards) with regular LEGAL metered parking availability, albeit with the assumption that EXPIRED meters are deliberately UNPAID meters therefore illegal parking at legal parking spaces.

GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT (good luck with that!))

Shoup COMPLETELY IGNORES the unexpected delays that cause people to return LATE and facing a ticket for one minute over time. This is portrayed endlessly in movies and books with the classic package-ladden, out-of-breath driver arriving at their car EXACTLY as the parking enforcement officer writes a ticket.


In his many mathematical calculations he does NOT ASSUME THAT ANY PAYMENT WAS MADE IN THE METERS AT ALL. There is no analysis that covers such nuance as paying for the maximum of 90 minutes, but getting nailed for 5 minutes over.

Nor does he calculate the ENORMOUS COST and effort it takes for constant, repetitive circling of “trouble spots” by compliance officers WHO MARK TIRES WITH CHALK to make sure that no meter feeding, or simple relocation within a two-block radius — even though a meter might NOT BE EXPIRED but was fully paid up.


Note that this argument is based on the UNFOUNDED belief that parking responds to markets. I dispute this. The LOCATION of the parking is fixed and not subject to variables. Parking in front of a bad restaurant by this logic would be free to entice patronage. Parking in front of the very best restaurant would demand a premium.

The ridiculousness of proposing some kind of gas price variability parking pricing from hour to hour (yes, he wants to charge more for busiest times) is absurd even if computer technology a la airplane tickets made for programmable parking meters. Heck, I suspect he would embrace LICENSE PLATE READERS on individual meters to AUTOMATICALLY DEDUCT PARKING FEES directly from parker’s bank accounts! NO ENFORCEMENT COSTS NEEDED!

My imaginary solution to MAKE PEOPLE PAY FOR PARKING would overlook, like most of his “solutions” the myriad of variables. For example, loaning a friend a car who then doesn’t have to pay — indeed the meter designs would probably not even consider the possibility that THE CAR IS NOT THE SAME AS THE OWNER.


The author, like most “free” market zealots, measures all value by economic capitalist principles. The language he uses for chapter titles and subheads fairly scream privilege.

“Chapter 2. Unnatural Selection” as if market principles followed SCIENCE any more than the fakery of Social Darwinism. Under this chapter a subhead reads “Huddled Masses Yearning to Park Free.” The snarling conclusion of this chapter, “The Immaculate Conception of Parking Demand” dovetails with the first subhead of “The Genesis of Parking Requirements.

“Chapter 3. The Pseudoscience of Planning for Parking” includes a touch along the same theme with “Parochial Policies” plus “Circular Logic.”

“Circular Logic” merited a star on a Post-It because he seems to oppose “free” off-street parking for parking even at shopping malls. Lengthy details about how parking spaces are calculated by zoning or ordinance focus on the “wasted” space when businesses are closed. There was a swipe at providing employees parking (pp. 86-87).

Employees accounted for about 20 percent of parking demand during the peak period, which suggests that providing special employee transportation programs (such as off-site parking with shuttle buses) on the few days of the customers’ peak parking demand could reduce a shopping center’s annual peak parking demand — and the required parking supply — by 20 percent.

The impracticality and cost of this concept fails any sensible evaluation.

Well, I had to return the book to the library since it was really overdue. I should probably write a book just to counter all of his ridiculous assertions based on Ivy Tower life of privilege and theories without basis in reality.

Life is too short though and I need to spend my time fighting this eco-mindset. By eco-mindset I mean using ecology and environment as an excuse to screw the common good and burn even more precious minutes of our lives on unpaid labor — the commute time in slow public transit.

Even when we drive our cars, they screw us over again with PUNITIVE parking costs based on outrageous “free market” (gag choke, cough cough price gouging) “costs” of sums like “$30,000 per parking space in a ramp” as if that is as mandatory as gravity.

They spend MORE MONEY to enforce parking meter compliance than the meters “earn” “because otherwise employees would park near their workplaces all day.” ARGH.

The constant conflation of issue to obscure the real problems, decoupling and disentangling them ROUTINELY occurs with transportation issues.

Free parking would be great for downtown business. Free parking would “free up” staff and substantial resources for better use. Free parking would make life a lot less stressful and anxiety-provoking: Do I have the right change? Oh my gosh, do I have time to use the restroom before the meter runs out? Oh my God, I can’t afford to pay  this $20 parking ticket until the end of the month, but by then it will have tripled in cost!

And finally the big consequence: jail time for nonpayment and escalating fees; loss of job; loss of health insurance; loss of home; and a ruined life. All because the city “solves” the lack of employee parking BY PUNISHING ALL THE SHOPPERS AND OTHER USERS of street parking.

How fucking stupid is that? Always the stick, even when the cost of the stick exceeds the “benefit” of the result. The notion that punishing all residents for imagined employees NECESSARY PARKING NEEDS to be able to work BOGGLES THE MIND!

AS a voodoo economist with pretensions of reality, this author asserts without basis in reality, that car owners could pay for public transit with parking meter fees when they are currently a net revenue LOSS is stupid. The author asserts that if the parking were “right-priced,” parking would be profitable to municipalities.

Once again the erstwhile “expert” has conflated multiple issues into one massive pile of spaghetti without logic or reason to justify his conclusion. Worse, he fails EVERYWHERE in the book to even consider *unintended consequences* for the mere human part of the grand scheme of pricing people out of their cars.

First, the majority of people in this country are barely scamming by financially, unlike a PhD in economics and Harvard lifestyle old white man.

People need to be able to park for less than their daily food budget of say, $10 and yet our ramp here costs $12 maximum (for now). This means that employees and shoppers and people parking in the government center parking lot HAVE TO PAY AND PAY AND PAY. To avoid tickets, they may max out the amount they pay even when they expect to use the parking spot for less time.


At our government center, the parking lot has metered parking. I think it has the usual 90-minute limit (I will have to double-check, but let’s go with that as an example anyway).

When I went in to the court area to dispute a parking ticket, I had to spend at least 15 minutes just getting in to the building. The walk (lack of handicapped spaces), the security screening, just to get to the right section was difficult (bad signage). Plus finding my way stopping and waiting politely to ask for directions at an office when I arrived at the right floor took 10 more minutes.

Once I had checked in, I was told it would be a two-hour wait. Yes, that’ s right. The government center parking meters only allow 90-minute parking (for able-bodied people, disabled get 4 hours, but I am making the case for the average people’s suffering). The court and other business conducted at the government center includes 2-HOUR WAITING TIMES easily. So you could get a PARKING TICKET while waiting to dispute a parking ticket!

The metered parking laws are so draconian that they also make FEEDING THE METER illegal AND require that your car be moved a minimum of 2 blocks from the original parking spot. They chalk your tire and note you license plate to be able to make sure you get PUNISHED for having business that takes longer than the allotted capricious and arbitrary 90-minute (or 30-minute) standards.

At the government center, if you are waiting for a judge or some such, you do not dare to go feed the meter (illegal remember) because then you might miss your turn! So to go fight a parking ticket, you have to take time off work (probably losing more in income as a wage worker than the cost of the ticket) plus because of the metered parking, you have to have a companion who can go back out and feed the meter (risking a ticket for that) and then return through the security screening etc. to wait until the next 70 minutes goes by and they have to repeat the process.

There is NO PARKING two blocks away from the government center to move your car to. But maybe since it is a parking lot, those restrictions don’t apply. In any case, the stress and anxiety of worrying about an unknown appointment time beginning and unknown length, under a stressful situation of dealing with a parking ticket you don’t have the money to pay with the escalating price tag plus fees with the end consequences being jail seems to me VERY EXCESSIVE relative to the normal human reality of things taking longer than expected and losing track of time.

There are apps for parking meter timing now, it is that bad. Or you can just set you alarm on your smart phone (if you can afford that).


The stupidity of “right pricing” metered street parking — in order to pay for public transit — would require about $10 an hour (spit balling) at least! Not included in his analysis is the adverse consequence of fewer customers willing to shop for goods (sales or bargain shopping in particular) if the cost of just LOOKING already cost them ONE HOUR’S WAGES or more!

Public transit is a common good. That is why we pay taxes: to spread the cost of necessary public services widely so the individual cost is as small as possible. TO BURDEN PEOPLE WITH CARS WITH THE COST OF PUBLIC TRANSIT in their parking cost is like making fancy restaurant diners PAY FOR DESERT they do not get to eat (to paraphrase one of his analogies).

So many of his arguments about how much people should pay (the “right pricing”) ignores basic reality. Like without a living wage, people can’t afford to park AND PAY FOR the overpriced goods necessary to make excessive profit (the American Way) as well as provide the income for the business owner to make excessively high payments for leases for “prime” downtown buildings.

We, the working poor, as employees are not provided with parking so we PAY FOR THE PRIVILEGE OF WORKING by spending an hour or more wages just to park. We need to drive a car because it is the fastest most efficient method to get from our unique location to the work place. We carry the costs of the car and the gas and the paying for parking so we can get to work on time AND be able to shop for groceries and pick up the kids from drama club and get to a dentist appointment and stop by a hardware store (likely with FREE PARKING LOT if not downtown).

And now this asshole wants us to directly pay for public transit that cannot meet our needs, or that of  the majority of residents, by punishing us with high parking fees and the coercive power and full might of the LAW?

The is not a reasonable solution. This is a conservative PAY PAY PAY until you bleed solution.

The more obvious solution from a non PhD from Harvard economics “expert” would be to implement a community value income tax on all earners over $60,000 maybe that redirects some of their privilege to the lower rewarded people providing them with many public services, like daycare workers, janitors, and maids.

Business would have a percentage of their taxes go towards public transit so that people who cannot afford cars could come and shop at their business.


Business should include the cost of providing employee parking as a mandatory business expense (deductible for them anyway) instead of shoving all cost possible on the employees as if THAT WAS A RATIONAL REQUIREMENT rather than one based on making more profit on the backs of employees.

Any business that cannot afford to pay for employee parking facilities is simply not a viable business, period. Their profit should not be enabled and subsidized on the backs of their workers.

Similarly, companies should pay for the cost of public transit, either directly as an employee benefit (deductible for them, not employees, funny how things always work out that way) or by paying a TRANSIT TAX as par of doing business that would help customers as well as employees use FARE FREE TRANSIT.

Even FAR FREE transit is not free to users! They pay dearly with something more valuable than cash: unrecoverable minutes of their lives. That actually has more value to we poor wage slaves than cash in hand, but with the capitalistic system set up for MAXIMIZING business profit by exploiting workers who must WORK OR DIE, the only way we can SAVE OUR TIME is to drive a car and park for work and shopping. And yet, the wealthy Ivy League economists NEVER ACCOUNT FOR THE HOURS OF OUR LIVES spend and lost to uncompensated time spent using public transportation when they come up with such notions as “right priced” parking fees.

And they expect us to pay for the privilege of the long painful slow crawl of public transit and the you can’t get there from here pathways for each of us as individuals. But more punitive factors await for the public transit commuter: don’t you dare be late for work.

First you have to walk to the nearest bus stop IN ALL KINDS OF WEATHER while wearing “professional” clothes — or carrying your clothes and shoes in a bag to change when you get to the office. This is a WOMEN’S ISSUE MOST OF ALL BECAUSE OF THE RIDICULOUS clothing women are expected to wear, especially shoes. The of there being a bus shelter at your stop are slim to none. The nearest stop might be over 1/2 mile away, a good hike in dress clothes. Plus it takes even more time to add that walk versus hopping in a car parked at your residence.

Sure you have to arrive 15 minutes early to make sure  you don’t miss the bus because the next one would be at least 30 minutes later and then you would be unacceptably late for work. But hey, your life has no value if you are not actually on the job.

Sure you have no control over how long the bus takes, but once again, beggars can’t be choosers! If you are too poor to afford a car (or maybe a second car because a spouse works a different shift in the opposite direction), your time is worth even less than nothing so the city has no obligation to provide better and faster service for you.

And since being poor deserves even more punishment, we get to pay for the privilege of the long slow ride that might or might not get us to within 15 minutes plus another walk to our place of work. Pity the poor slob who has to do a transfer, which means they have to walk to another bus stop in all weather, wait for another bus to come, and continue on to another location that my or may not get to within “walking”distance.

But hey, if you are a minimum wage worker, you deserve to have to spend 3 hours a day uncompensated to get to and from work (with no “chain” stops on the way home to shop for example).

People who oppose FARE FREE find it outrageous that someone might get “something for nothing” [false in too many ways to go into here] so PUBLIC TRANSIT REQUIRES $$$$$$ by users ON TOP OF TAXES ALREADY PAID. In this country, you ONLY DESERVE WHAT YOU CAN PAY FOR  IRRESPECTIVE OF A FAIR PAYCHECK or more likely the minimum possible pay.

The false philosophy of having “skin in the game” requires that CASH BE PAID for the “privilege” of transportation to work or shop or go to school. The must have “skin in the game” people do not count the hours of your life wasted walking, waiting, and slow-moving public transit for the privilege, indeed MANDATORY WORK OR DIE requirement, of working.


The NO CARS / PARKING crowd expects whole families to use AND PAY OUT OF POCKET for leisure use of transit as well. They completely ignore the fact that 5 or more people can ride in a car for far less than 5 individual transit fees TWO WAYS, with no stops, plus wait times and no door to door convenience so walking is mandatory.

So Mom and Dad and their 2 kids get to pay $6 ONE WAY to spend an hour on the bus to get to a city park with a swimming pool (also not free of course).

Then they get to pay another $6 to go back home. No chance to stop at a local ice cream shop on the way back because there are no on and off privileges. No chance to stop by the grocery store either, assuming one was on the bus route.

Because there are real physical limitations as to how much stuff you can carry (apart from lack of package space on the bus — designed for commuters mostly) from the grocery store without a car, MORE TRIPS BY BUS with ensuing increase of costs per trip, are required to stock up. THIS ALSO DOUBLES THE TIME SPENT GOING TO AND FROM THE STORE PLUS SHOPPING TIME, as well as costing more FARES each way.

Basically, the family gets home and either one parent goes back out in their CAR to get some groceries and ice cream, or they have planned ahead and already have ice cream Groceries will have to be bought on a Saturday with their car (one hopes).


This book may be a classic but it does not deserve that acclaim.

It is the product of a rich white ivy tower academic who has no concept of reality for ordinary people. His fundamental assumptions are classic conservative Republican “Strict Father” (George Lakoff’s term) belief systems that only accept PROFIT and PAYMENT as the values of society.

He can choose to walk or cycle or drive and I guarantee you that he DOES NOT SPEND HIS TIME ON A BUS for his commute or to grocery shop. He probably doesn’t do the shopping at all.

He hangs out in a luxury office and plays with spreadsheets divorced from real people living all too short lives and decides that they should spend it on public transit under the guise of “the environment” or “sustainability” when the fact is he just wants MORE PARKING FOR HIMSELF and fewer cars on the road so he can others like him can get where they want to go without congestion by the rest of us.

He probably afforded (bank would be happy to lend to him) a fabulous house near his workplace allowing him to be able to choose to walk to work in a lovely neighborhood.

The rest of us CAN’T AFFORD to live near where we work. So we must pay for transit or parking. We must pay with the precious minutes and hours of our lives JUST TO BE ABLE TO EAT and pay for shelter, and of course TRANSPORTATION.

No “free lunch” for us! No affordable housing for us! No low-interest rate for us (compared to the rich who have more than enough money to afford higher rates). We pay and pay and pay through countless ways big and small, and this bastard wants to punish us even more by taking an ever larger percentage of our available cash for parking, for transit, for housing, for vehicles, for leisure, and so much more.

He has it completely wrong. Parking is not a HIGH PRICE public good, but rather a necessary engine for the economy. Free parking and FARE FREE transit provides essential services to the people who drive the economy through their labor and through their purchases.

The High Cost of Free Parking is a lie based on false assumptions, bad data, and a failure to understand reality. It also represents sociopathic behavior common to the power elite today, the wealthy who have theirs and by God,  they are not going to share.

I don’t need a PhD in economics to be able to see the merits to all levels of society FREE PARKING and FARE FREE transit would have for everyone. But the rich white men conservative “free market” sorts run the world and their expertise runs the show. When books like these become the “classics” and are regarded as the Holy Bible of urban planning, we are all poorer for it.

In the case of 99% of us , poorer is not only a metaphor.

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