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Parking Meter Expert Said City Did it Wrong

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Photo by Dan Wuh via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr

Last night on KCRW's Which Way, LA, the controversy over the parking meter increases was discussed. But first, let's start off with what the city's City Council Transportation Committee Chair, Wendy Greuel, was sending out yesterday:

Over the past two decades, parking meter rates have not kept pace with demand or inflation, while off-street rates for privately-owned parking lots have continued to rise. This growing disparity has created an incentive for drivers to "cruise" for hard-to-find and under-priced one-street parking, generating a large amount of unnecessary traffic in local communities.

That statement is based on UCLA Urban Planning professor Donald Shoup's theory from his book on the high cost--traffic--of free parking. What's funny is that he said on the show last night that "if the city asked for my advice, I would have done it differently."

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The problem is that the city quickly decided to raise prices and limit times without much thought, causing unrest, for example, where street parking is needed more than two hours. "Only now we're talking about doing a study on how this will affect businesses, it speaks to the idea that this wasn't done in an effort to alleviate traffic concerns and was more simply about revenue," said blogger TJ Sullivan.