Parking as a daily choice

Farther afield, but it made us think of situations such as downtown Albany and the area around Albany Med: Prompted by a campaign to get fewer people driving to work alone, large employers in Seattle -- such as the Gates Foundation -- have found that a key way to get people to take transit or carpool is to charge for parking by the day instead of monthly, a psychological change that seems to get people thinking about the choice differently. [Seattle Times] [via the mysterious Twitter algorithm]

Comments

It probably doesn't help that many parking garages allow you to auto-renew your monthly payment, so you never think about it at all.

Yes! Especially when used in conjunction with CDTA's Universal Access program, where employers pay for their employees rides.

Right on. It would encourage folks to try out another mode and not feel like there's a sunk cost. "well if i take the bus once a week I'm paying for a spot AND the bus..."

Am currently reading a book called Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us). It is fascinating, and shows that much of common knowledge about traffic is incorrect. The book doesn't spend much time on parking, but the little bit it does cover has made me more consciously decrease my use of parking by doing things like carpooling when possible. I also think of the real cost of parking more. Some are obvious, such as causing more flooding due and heating the local environment, but we don't think about them enough.

Parking costs thousands of dollars per space per year to build and maintain, and is a less productive use of land than just about anything else.

Look at how much of downtown Albany is covered by surface lots and parking garages. What's the opportunity cost? What else could that land have been used for? Then look at Harriman Campus, the Westgate area, Wolf Road or Crossgates and ask the same question.

Zed F. Yes, and if you add Central Eyesore and all those ruins with red X... Opportunity cost is through the roof!

Great idea! And Albany Med would be the ideal candidate. They could sell this program to their employees as a way to get them thinking about "healthier" transportation alternatives.

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