The Parking Price Is Right – Achieve urban planning goals through strategic pricing

Source: John Dorsett, Public Management (PM), Vol. 96 no. 4, May 2014

Parking can be a powerful resource for promoting economic development and improving the quality of life in any community. And one of the most important tools at the disposal of city and county administrators and planners is parking pricing. By implementing strategic pricing, local governments can influence where drivers park and for how long.

When done right, this can have an extraordinary impact on a community’s economy and the health of local businesses. It can also affect the quality of life for residents. The problem is, most communities don’t do it right.

The good news is that some places are starting to recognize the power of pricing and are beginning to leverage parking pricing as an important tool for supporting local businesses, reducing traffic congestion, cutting vehicle-borne pollution, and generally improving the quality of life for residents. A number of cities, including San Francisco and Santa Monica, California, and Seattle, Washington, just to name a few, have begun setting prices strategically to achieve urban planning goals……