Free parking isn’t free: Hidden costs to citizens & cities

Free parking is the ultimate Trojan horse. Sure, free sounds great, but it comes with costs that impact everything from the congestion on your street, to the cost of rent, to prices at the grocery store. And everyone is paying whether you own a car or not.

Donald Shoup, professor of Urban Planning at UCLA and author of The High Cost of Free Parking, recently spoke at length with Vox about his years’ long effort to get cities to rethink their relationship with parking, namely by charging for it.

Shoup says the long-held idea of free parking as a public good makes it difficult for the government to charge for it, but he believes governments should.

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