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Old 04-10-2019, 05:42 PM
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no fee for parking in handicapped spots?


I have noticed that in our town, there are several parking places designated for drivers with some physical handicap. These spots are the prime, close spaces and should make it at least slightly less inconvenient for those people to park and get to their destination. I have also noticed that many of these spaces do not have parking meters. I suppose it sounds petty, but I don't know why parking should be free for those people. Is this some sort of federal policy, or would it more likely be some local option?
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Old 04-10-2019, 05:48 PM
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Parking fees are not so much for revenue (parking tickets are another subject), it's to light a fire under your butt so you get your shit done and to get you to free that spot for someone else ASAP. With this reasoning it is not reasonable to expect someone with a handicap to be under the same time constraint.
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Old 04-10-2019, 06:26 PM
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Parking fees are not so much for revenue.
Wut??
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Old 04-10-2019, 06:32 PM
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If meters were not for revenue, they would use parking discs like in Germany. They are most certainly used to generate revenue. Cities make tens of milluons of dollars from parking meters.
https://www.parkingpanda.com/blog/po...ing-violations
Even a small city can rake in 6 figures a month.
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Old 04-10-2019, 06:33 PM
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Parking fees are not so much for revenue (parking tickets are another subject), it's to light a fire under your butt so you get your shit done and to get you to free that spot for someone else ASAP. With this reasoning it is not reasonable to expect someone with a handicap to be under the same time constraint.
Even if this were true, and I question both premises, then a reasonable accommodation would be to put more time on those meters, not simply remove them.
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Old 04-10-2019, 07:22 PM
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Parking fees are not so much for revenue ...
10 years ago, parking meters in downtown Vancouver were 25 cents for three minutes, $5 an hour. That's $40 for an 8 hour day.
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Old 04-10-2019, 07:27 PM
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I have noticed that in our town, there are several parking places designated for drivers with some physical handicap. These spots are the prime, close spaces and should make it at least slightly less inconvenient for those people to park and get to their destination. I have also noticed that many of these spaces do not have parking meters. I suppose it sounds petty, but I don't know why parking should be free for those people. Is this some sort of federal policy, or would it more likely be some local option?
In California if you have a handicap placard it is not necessary to put money in a parking meter.
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Old 04-10-2019, 07:35 PM
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If meters were not for revenue, they would use parking discs like in Germany. They are most certainly used to generate revenue.
Ditto. In case people don't know what you mean, what I have seen in Italy is a little plastic clock (a fake one like the kind that stores put in the door to say "Be back at..."). You set the hands to show what time you parked, and you are ticketed if you stay past the time limit. There is a harsh penalty if your clock is found to be set later than the current time.
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Old 04-10-2019, 07:51 PM
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Even if this were true, and I question both premises, then a reasonable accommodation would be to put more time on those meters, not simply remove them.
If there were adequate handicapped-accessible public transportation pretty much anywhere, then I might agree with you, but there isn't. Mobility-impaired people don't have a lot of options for getting around.
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Old 04-10-2019, 08:03 PM
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If meters were not for revenue, they would use parking discs like in Germany.
Not necessarily. It could just be that we don't have parking meters like that to buy from anyone or paying is less likely to result in shenanigans.

A few businesses in my town that were next to one another had petitions and were asking customers to sign it. They wanted the town to install short-term parking meters on their street because it was a busy street that was hard to find parking on. People would park long term, and if one was driving by and there was a parking spot they might stop and get that roast beef at the deli. If not, they might drive by and go somewhere else.

Of course I'm not suggesting the reason is never for revenue directly from the meter, but revenue from businesses being profitable may be more important to local government in some areas.
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Old 04-10-2019, 08:06 PM
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I guess my view is if you’re handicapped you can have the primo spots, but there’s no justification for them to be free.
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Old 04-10-2019, 08:32 PM
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I guess my view is if you’re handicapped you can have the primo spots, but there’s no justification for them to be free.
The justification is that the public trasnport options that are available to other people aren't as readily available to you, and it's a bit rich to make you pay for parking when we've already set up matters so as to leave you little choice but to drive your car.
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Old 04-10-2019, 08:32 PM
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I guess my view is if you’re handicapped you can have the primo spots, but there’s no justification for them to be free.
There's also very little justification for them to charge when it's expected that people using those spots may be there for longer than average.

And I agree with kancibird that the main purpose of parking meters is to ensure turnover in congested areas so that local business patrons have a place to park. The revenue doesn't hurt, but if people didn't need to park there to shop those spots wouldn't be in demand. With sufficient handicapped spaces, that's not an issue for those spots. If turnover is the goal, there's less incentive for turnover on the HC spots.
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Old 04-10-2019, 10:22 PM
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I guess my view is if you’re handicapped you can have the primo spots, but there’s no justification for them to be free.
I will gladly pay, if you will take my knees and feet and live with that.
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Old 04-10-2019, 11:00 PM
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Here in Maryland you don't have to pay even if there are meters. Better still, tow trucks can''t tow your car.
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Old 04-10-2019, 11:07 PM
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The fee is you are Handicapped. Life ain't fair. Get used to it.
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Old 04-10-2019, 11:46 PM
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Even a small city can rake in 6 figures a month.
The small city I grew up in had parking meters in the downtown area up until the mid-1980's. It was a penny for 12 minutes or 5 cents an hour. Parking was free after 1800 and on weekends and holidays. I'd estimate that there was maybe 300 spots. If every spot was used continually for the 12 hours they were mandated that would be $180 a day and roughly $45K a year. Subtract the amount they paid the trio of meter maids the police department had and there wasn't much left. A violation ticket, BTW, was $2.

Right around the time they raised the rate to 25 cents for 12 minutes and the fines to $10 the big box stores came to town and the downtown area started dying. The city wisely got rid of all the meters and it worked. The downtown area perked up.
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Old 04-11-2019, 02:06 AM
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I guess my view is if you’re handicapped you can have the primo spots, but there’s no justification for them to be free.
"Primo" parking spots AND free parking for people struggling with mobility? Why, the very idea! What's next, no tax on porridge for orphans? Free camps for disabled kids?
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Old 04-11-2019, 03:02 AM
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actually the city might be dodging an ADA lawsuit


this reminds me of the tounge in cheek rant abut the lamborgini with disabled plates in the handicapped space …that had a 40 page response ….


although this belongs in ihmo or the pit ……..
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Old 04-11-2019, 03:58 AM
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In the UK, spaces are normally free for disabled drivers, even if the the allocated spaces are full and they have to park in a regular spot. Private car parks may charge.

Those with disability badges can also park on double yellow lines without restriction as long as they are not causing an obstruction.
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Old 04-11-2019, 04:53 AM
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In the UK, spaces are normally free for disabled drivers, even if the the allocated spaces are full and they have to park in a regular spot. Private car parks may charge.

Those with disability badges can also park on double yellow lines without restriction as long as they are not causing an obstruction.
Most of the car parks near me in the UK charge for the disabled spots AFAIK. Some of them specifically say on the sign "Blue badge holders must pay fee".
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Old 04-11-2019, 05:04 AM
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According to a wheelchair user friend, the major reason UK parking is usually free to disabled drivers is actually because the coin slots in the meters originally installed in council owned car parks were simply too high up for use by someone using a wheelchair. This meant that some people who could drive a modified vehicle were unable to use the machines to pay, so complained that they were not accessible. The most cost effective solution at the time was simply to declare that anyone with a disabled badge didn't have to pay, as not many people were affected so that was cheaper than re-designing and replacing all the machines. Most people turned out to be OK with this, figuring that the inconveniences of disability made free parking a fair enough perk, so it's largely just stuck, as deliberately getting machines that are usable by wheelchair users and requiring them to pay now comes across as picking on the disabled, rather than accommodating them.

Dunno how true that is, but the meters in private car parks here which do require disabled users to pay are certainly lower and differently designed.
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Old 04-11-2019, 07:46 AM
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In the UK, spaces are normally free for disabled drivers, even if the the allocated spaces are full and they have to park in a regular spot. Private car parks may charge.

Those with disability badges can also park on double yellow lines without restriction as long as they are not causing an obstruction.
Not quite true. Unlimited parking on double yellows is for Scotland only. Elsewhere it's three hours (and less in some areas like the City of London and Westminster). http://www.knowyourparkingrights.org...e-badge-scheme That's why you get a "clock" as part of the Blue Badge.

The parking spaces are not always free, as that link states.

Car parks (even at hospitals) almost always charge the same amount for disabled spaces as any others, IME. Some allow you extra time for the same money, but they're rare.

Parking in spaces that aren't specifically marked for disabled users may attract a fee (doesn't say that in the links, that's just my own experience). On-road metered parking is free (partly because most residential streets don't have specific disabled parking spots available to any disabled user; they might have marked ones for specific residents but they really are just for those residents) but that doesn't apply to car parks.

http://www.knowyourparkingrights.org...e-badge-scheme

But it's much harder to get a Blue Badge in the UK than it seems to be in the US, and there are no temporary disabled permits.
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Old 04-11-2019, 08:21 AM
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I'm going to also assume the main driver for this is ADA. If you offer handicap parking without a meter you avoid requiring the meter and surrounding area the meter is installed in to meet ADA requirements. I'm guessing the minimal revenue a city would gain from meters at handicap spots is significantly lower than the costs of installing ADA compliant meters (if even such a thing exists) and potentially modifications to the sidewalk/medians where the meters are installed. Put a standard meter in and hello ADA lawsuit. :-)
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Old 04-11-2019, 08:26 AM
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"Primo" parking spots AND free parking for people struggling with mobility? Why, the very idea! What's next, no tax on porridge for orphans? Free camps for disabled kids?
:applause:
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Old 04-11-2019, 08:36 AM
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I see the SDMB has morphed into a version of an online comments section. Oh, well.
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Old 04-11-2019, 08:58 AM
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I see the SDMB has morphed into a version of an online comments section. Oh, well.
Your post #11 pretty much opened that up.
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Old 04-11-2019, 09:00 AM
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If meters were not for revenue, they would use parking discs like in Germany. They are most certainly used to generate revenue. Cities make tens of milluons of dollars from parking meters.
https://www.parkingpanda.com/blog/po...ing-violations
Even a small city can rake in 6 figures a month.
Your link is for parking violations, not parking meters, which is in agreement with my post.

Quote:
Parking fees are not so much for revenue (parking tickets are another subject),
I emboldened the part you may have missed of my post.

In general the ideal is that parking meters go to pay for the metering system, signs and parking enforcement (which includes salaries of 'meter maids').

This makes sense as that is to the benefit to the driver to pay, as that ensures you can get a parking spot. Also not overcharging for parking makes the businesses happier as it's not a discouragement beyond what is needed to ensure turnover. So it is the goal of most metering systems however skimming revenue does happen in some places. Though gaining revenue this way is punitive and there is no reason to punish a person for not doing anything wrong.

The real revenue from such a system comes from tickets, which your link supports.

Going back to the OP, a handicap person need a close spot, and can't afford to hunt around for a long term parking spot. We as a society entitle them to a primo spot. So that spot many times is for them both long term and short term, so no need to time them, this no need for meters for them.

Last edited by kanicbird; 04-11-2019 at 09:03 AM.
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Old 04-11-2019, 09:25 AM
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The fee is you are Handicapped. Life ain't fair. Get used to it.
I've got no problem with free parking for the handicapped, but life doesn't make parking rules. People do. If it's fair, it's the people who made the rules being fair. If it's not, it's the people who made the rules being unfair.
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Old 04-11-2019, 01:27 PM
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If meters were not for revenue, they would use parking discs like in Germany. They are most certainly used to generate revenue. Cities make tens of milluons of dollars from parking meters.
https://www.parkingpanda.com/blog/po...ing-violations
Even a small city can rake in 6 figures a month.
In many places more from the fines than from the meters.
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Old 04-11-2019, 01:31 PM
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You'd think San Fran would be liberal on this, but not really. On one very short street it turns into a "No stopping" zone at 3PM, for no discernable reason. Four metered spots, three handicapped spots. @ 2:50, three or four tow trucks line up and at 3:01 they cite and tow, including usually 2-3 handicapped parkers.
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Old 04-11-2019, 01:36 PM
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Your post #11 pretty much opened that up.
At some point in the not so distant past, when folks were much more civil, my post would have been responded to by someone, such as Kanicbird, who kindly did provide an explanation and a justification for untimed, and unpaid parking spots. Now, that statement is responded to with "You're an asshole for bringing that up!" Don't worry, young fella, we'll all be out of your way soon.
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Old 04-11-2019, 01:43 PM
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Parking fees are not so much for revenue (parking tickets are another subject), it's to light a fire under your butt so you get your shit done and to get you to free that spot for someone else ASAP. With this reasoning it is not reasonable to expect someone with a handicap to be under the same time constraint.
This is completely bunk. Many towns consider parking fees a major source of revenue.
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Old 04-11-2019, 02:04 PM
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Parking meters? Cities still use those? In, for instance, Portland, they rely on time-stamped tags that you buy from a kiosk in the middle of the block. The kiosks take coins, bills or charge cards, meaning you no longer need a coin holder in your car, and they are portable: if you buy two hours of parking, you can use two hours of parking, anywhere in town. Seems more fair and practical than the old meter system.
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Old 04-11-2019, 02:14 PM
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You'd think San Fran would be liberal on this, but not really. On one very short street it turns into a "No stopping" zone at 3PM, for no discernable reason. Four metered spots, three handicapped spots. @ 2:50, three or four tow trucks line up and at 3:01 they cite and tow, including usually 2-3 handicapped parkers.
It's been many years since I've been in SF (courier service driver) but I'm assuming it's still to provide more traffic lanes during rush hour.
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Old 04-11-2019, 02:16 PM
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I guess my view is if you’re handicapped you can have the primo spots, but there’s no justification for them to be free.
If you qualify for the handicap spaces, life has dealt you enough grief, why not allow free parking? It doesn't really cost anything.

Do you also dislike veterans discounts? I know there are people that resent those for some reason.
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Old 04-11-2019, 02:19 PM
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You'd think San Fran would be liberal on this, but not really. On one very short street it turns into a "No stopping" zone at 3PM, for no discernable reason.
There are many lanes in SF (and other cities) that are used for parking during off hours, and become a driving lane during commute hours.

ETA: oops, running coach already said that.

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Old 04-11-2019, 05:30 PM
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Nm

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Old 04-11-2019, 06:51 PM
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It's been many years since I've been in SF (courier service driver) but I'm assuming it's still to provide more traffic lanes during rush hour.
That would make sense and usually it is for that reason but this was a small short side street.
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Old 04-11-2019, 07:01 PM
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10 years ago, parking meters in downtown Vancouver were 25 cents for three minutes, $5 an hour. That's $40 for an 8 hour day.
$40 = $0 if the shoppers decide to go elsewhere.

Our local town had meters on the main street and a block away during the 1950's-1970's. They never received a penny from my family, who deliberately parked two blocks away or went to the free-parking mall. In the 1980's, largely at the request of the merchants, the city removed all of the meters, and there are no meters anywhere in the city (or county) today. Let that be a lesson to all of us.
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Old 04-11-2019, 08:56 PM
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$40 = $0 if the shoppers decide to go elsewhere.

Our local town had meters on the main street and a block away during the 1950's-1970's. They never received a penny from my family, who deliberately parked two blocks away or went to the free-parking mall. In the 1980's, largely at the request of the merchants, the city removed all of the meters, and there are no meters anywhere in the city (or county) today. Let that be a lesson to all of us.
Parking meters and rabid enforcement killed downtown San Jose retail, but it was planned so as to get shoppers into the malls. That didnt make the merchants downtown very happy.
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Old 04-11-2019, 10:03 PM
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10 years ago, parking meters in downtown Vancouver were 25 cents for three minutes, $5 an hour. That's $40 for an 8 hour day.
$75/hour in downtown Sidney.aus. That's AUD, so about $50/hour USD. And no, it wasn't for revenue: it was to discourage people from parking there, so that the spots could be used for 3 minute drop off /pick up, which they thought was more important and more valuable and benefited more people.
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Old 04-12-2019, 06:04 AM
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Wut??
On-street parking, at least in the US, is considered a shared public resource. A "tragedy of the commons" situation emerges when all on-street spaces are free. In the early days of widespread car ownership, when traditional main streets were more common, business owners and merchants often hogged all the good spots near their offices and stores. They effectively privatized on-street parking, and left few spaces for shoppers. Parking meters were one way to ration a resource for which there was growing demand, but limited supply.

As for handicapped parking, the Americans with Disabilities Act requires a certain percentage of on-street parking spaces to be accessible, and free. It's both for convenience -- space location should be where van access is safe and easy, like next to a hard-surfaced tree lawn with no trees or street furniture in the way -- and because many parking meters are not accessible to those in wheelchairs or with limited mobility.

Last edited by elmwood; 04-12-2019 at 06:08 AM.
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Old 04-12-2019, 06:12 AM
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Recommended reading assignment: The High Cost of Free Parking by Donald Shoup. It's a fixture in many planners' libraries, and it'll change the way you think about the management of on-street parking.
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Old 04-14-2019, 11:28 PM
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In the UK, spaces are normally free for disabled drivers, even if the the allocated spaces are full and they have to park in a regular spot. Private car parks may charge.

Those with disability badges can also park on double yellow lines without restriction as long as they are not causing an obstruction.
Apparently your double yellow lines are not like the ones that demark 'no passing' stretches of road in the USA. Are these on the curb, outlining no parking spaces, or what?
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Old 04-15-2019, 01:30 PM
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On-street parking, at least in the US, is considered a shared public resource. A "tragedy of the commons" situation emerges when all on-street spaces are free. In the early days of widespread car ownership, when traditional main streets were more common, business owners and merchants often hogged all the good spots near their offices and stores. They effectively privatized on-street parking, and left few spaces for shoppers. Parking meters were one way to ration a resource for which there was growing demand, but limited supply.

Yep. For most of my life ( and in three different neighborhoods) , I 've lived within a couple of blocks of the local "Main Street" and I would do a certain amount of shopping there- but rarely anything that would require a car. Not a full week's worth of groceries, not anything large and no errands on my way to or from somewhere. Because it was unlikely I'd be able to park on the street - even though there were parking meters that only allowed two hour parking, people working in the stores and offices ( the traffic agents rarely marked the tires in order to write tickets for exceeding the two hour limit, so as long as the meter was fed every two hours there was no ticket.) and there are no parking lots, paid or free. If there were no meters, the people who live over the stores and offices would take up the parking spaces.


The inability to park wasn't the only thing that drove people to malls* but for every family like Musicat's - who would park two blocks away or go to the free parking mall to avoid paying for parking -there are probably multiple families who just go straight to the mall with free parking because " you can never park on Main Street"











* There was also the stupidity of the business hours. When I moved to my current neighborhood over thirty years ago , lots of stores/offices were open M-Fri 10-6. There were some that were open part of the day on Saturday and only food stores were open on Sunday. At every event, we'd hear about how we should shop locally - but why should I take a day off from work to get insurance at an office open from 10-6 M-F when I can call GEICO 24/7?

Last edited by doreen; 04-15-2019 at 01:31 PM.
  #47  
Old 04-15-2019, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by elmwood View Post
On-street parking, at least in the US, is considered a shared public resource. A "tragedy of the commons" situation emerges when all on-street spaces are free. In the early days of widespread car ownership, when traditional main streets were more common, business owners and merchants often hogged all the good spots near their offices and stores. They effectively privatized on-street parking, and left few spaces for shoppers. Parking meters were one way to ration a resource for which there was growing demand, but limited supply.
...
Here in CA we have a few cities with a robust, vibrant downtown. They solve that problem by a 2 hour parking limit, and no meters. Two hours limits merchant and employee parking, while allowing shoppers the time they need. It works.
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Old 04-15-2019, 03:22 PM
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Apparently your double yellow lines are not like the ones that demark 'no passing' stretches of road in the USA. Are these on the curb, outlining no parking spaces, or what?
This pic shows typical double yellow lines in the UK. Ordinarily, you can't park in these, but there's a couple of exceptions. You can legally park to unload heavy things, for example, as long as you aren't creating an obstruction. Blue, disabled badge parking is another exception.

London has "Red Routes" in which you are not allowed to park or load. I don't believe you can park on those with a disabled badge either.
  #49  
Old 04-15-2019, 06:23 PM
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Recommended reading assignment: The High Cost of Free Parking by Donald Shoup. It's a fixture in many planners' libraries, and it'll change the way you think about the management of on-street parking.
Heartily seconded. If you can face the prospect of wading through 600+ pages on the economics and logistics and planning implications of parking, then this book is a real eye-opener. It's particularly good for countering arguments like this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Musicat View Post
Our local town had meters on the main street and a block away during the 1950's-1970's. They never received a penny from my family, who deliberately parked two blocks away or went to the free-parking mall. In the 1980's, largely at the request of the merchants, the city removed all of the meters, and there are no meters anywhere in the city (or county) today. Let that be a lesson to all of us.
One of the key points that Shoup makes is that "free" parking is not actually free at all, even to the people who use it. For example, the cost of building and maintaining that large parking lot at the mall had to be factored into the cost of building the mall and maintaining the mall, which in turn has an impact on mall rents, which in turn has an impact on the prices that the shops charge. The fact that these costs aren't immediately obvious doesn't mean that they don't exist.

By far the most compelling part of the book, though (IMO), is his argument about the consequences of our obsession with free or cheap parking for the urban landscape, not just in downtown business districts, but also in neighborhoods where people live. Paradoxically, some of the people most adversely affected by policies that emphasize free or cheap parking are poor people.

Anyway, if you want to get the gist of Shoup's argument without committing yourself of hundreds of pages of excruciating detail, you can hear him interviewed in this episode of the Freakonomics podcast. As Shoup says:
Quote:
Everybody likes free parking, including me, probably you. But just because the driver doesn’t pay for it doesn’t mean that the cost goes away. If you don’t pay for parking your car, somebody else has to pay for it. And that somebody is everybody. We pay for free parking in the prices of the goods we buy at places where the parking is free. And we pay for parking as residents when we get free parking with our housing. We pay for it as taxpayers. Increasingly, I think we’re paying for it in terms of the environmental harm that it causes.
  #50  
Old 04-15-2019, 06:36 PM
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I won't challenge any assertion that free parking isn't free. Free shipping isn't free, either, but both are highly attractive to shoppers.

Perhaps the moral is to make something look free even though it isn't.
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