Important Book that you MUST Read

The High Cost of Free Parking, by Donald Shoup

The book is available in Montreal here:
Concordia McGill U de Montréal or if you want, here: Amazon

This book has lots of information that can be very practical for any city anywhere!

  • 90% of traffic in commercial districts is actually cars circling around looking for a place to park!
  • 90% of trips do not pay for parking when they get to their destination.
  • City bylaws and engineering planning regulations put cars into an endless positive feedback loop. 
    • Large parking lots -> encourage people to drive -> wider roads -> more driving -> businesses become spaced out -> even more driving.
    • Where are the pedestrians in all this?

There are some very good ideas that montreal could implement:

  • Parking benefit districts where the parking meter revenue is used to beautify the commercial districts.  Right now, parking meter revenue is used as general revenue for the central city administration.
  • Parking rates should be raised to the level that allows 1 free spot on each block at all times of the day.
    • This means that the rates are variable to account for the variation in the demand
    • Poeple will be sure to have a spot when they arrive at their destination – instead of endlessly circling the block
    • This policy has been implemented in a city in California with great results.

 This is a must read book!

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