Shoup Weighs in on Oakland Parking Controversy

3831238502_8b32f79956.jpgA newly installed SFpark parking meter in San Francisco. The SFpark program was inspired by Donald Shoup’s theories on parking management. Photo: Bryan Goebel

If the recent parking battle in Oakland had you thinking of UCLA Professor Donald Shoup, you’re not alone.

After the Oakland City Council raised parking fines and extended parking meter hours to help balance the city’s books, some merchants raised an outcry. Merchants, lead by Grand Lake Theater owner Allen Michaan, said the new policies were hurting business, and threatened to recall the entire City Council if the changes weren’t rolled back.

Shoup, whose market-driven parking management theories are the inspiration for San Francisco’s SFpark pilot program, told the East Bay Express the merchants may have some legitimate complaints about how the city made the changes:

First, the council shouldn’t be using parking meters as a cash register for its general fund, [Shoup] said. "You shouldn’t set the price to raise money, but to manage supply," he explained.

Second, the council is micromanaging when it sets parking meter prices for every district in the city, he said. Instead, the council should delegate those responsibilities to city staffers who then set prices based on how difficult it is to park. As a result, it makes no sense for parking prices to be the same in busy districts, such as Rockridge and Lakeshore, as they are in less crowded ones. In addition, parking meter prices should fluctuate during the day, based on how tough it is to find a place to park. It makes no sense, Shoup said, to charge the same price at 8 a.m. when stores are closed, as at 1 p.m., during the height of the lunchtime rush.

The East Bay Express also notes that San Francisco is making some not-so-Shoupian moves of its own with the SFpark program, including sending all revenue to the MTA instead of funneling a portion back to the districts that it originates from for streetscape and other improvements.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

San Francisco to Start Smart Parking Management Trial Soon

|
The central principle of San Francisco’s cutting-edge parking management program, SFPark, comes right from Econ 101. If there are more people looking for parking than there are parking spaces (i.e. demand is greater than supply) adjust the price of parking until there is enough turnover on a given street, or roughly one free parking space […]

SFpark Releases Pilot Report, Considers Giving Revenue to Local Streets

|
SFpark has released new comprehensive stats collected during its two-year pilot program phase, documenting the numerous¬†benefits that it garnered by pricing parking according to demand. SFpark is being watched closely by cities around the world, since it’s the first program to thoroughly test demand-based parking pricing principles first professed by UCLA’s Donald Shoup. But the […]

SF’s Parking Experiment to Test Shoup’s Traffic Theories

|
SF Park Pilot Areas – Richmond and West Portal control areas not featured The Municipal Transportation Agency’s federally-funded parking experiment, SFPark, is shaping up to be the most powerful tool remaining in the city’s traffic-busting toolbox considering the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce’s criticism of congestion pricing and Mayor Newsom’s recent tempered support for the […]

Oakland City Council Delays Parking Vote for Two Weeks

|
Oakland’s electronic parking meters. Flickr photo: mlinksva The Oakland City Council voted early this morning to delay action on proposed parking changes until its next meeting. After three hours of discussion that spilled well beyond midnight, a proposal to roll back parking meter enforcement from 8 p.m. to 6 p.m. was narrowly defeated, despite calls […]

SFMTA Launches SFPark to Much Fanfare and Political Support

|
San Francisco launched the world’s most innovative parking pilot today, a federally-funded trial that promises to revolutionize the way cities manage and price metered curb parking. SFPark will make it easier for motorists to find spaces in busy commercial districts, while reducing congestion, speeding Muni, and improving air quality and safety for bicyclists and pedestrians. […]