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Notebook on Cities and Culture S1E28: No Such Thing as Free Parking with Donald Shoup

Colin Marshall sits down at UCLA with urban planning professor Donald Shoup, author of The High Cost of Free Parking and the man who’s made us aware of the fact that our cities’ problems come not from too little parking, but too much. They discuss the academic tendency to believe, without verification, anything bad about Los Angeles; how this city became the densest car-oriented one in America, as well as the most car-oriented dense one; falsely perceived parking “shortages,” how they led to minimum free parking requirements, and how those have worsened our urban experience; Los Angeles’ parking requirement-skirting Adaptive Reuse Ordinance, which made even monstrosities like 1100 Wilshire usable; the development of technology needed to allow parking prices to respond to demand, and how it works in systems like San Francisco’s SFPark; the importance of treating parking space just like any other real estate, and how irresponsible we’ve been about that; how Ventura streets got free wi-fi through their parking program; what ruined Westwood, and what parking policy had to do with it; how he realized parking mattered so much, and why the general public has only begun to; the necessity of humor when you’re writing about parking for 800 pages; and how cycling makes it users happier than any other mode of transportation (perhaps because of its lack of parking complications).

Download the interview from Notebook on Cities and Culture’s feed here or on iTunes here.

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