Are you tired of struggling to find a parking spot in your city? You're not alone. Parking has been a problem in cities all over the world for over a hundred years. In this episode of the OoruLabs podcast, Dr. Paul Barter, an adjunct professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, discusses the root causes of parking problems and offers solutions for managing them.
So, what's wrong with parking? In short, the problem is that there are too many cars and not enough space to park them. In the early days of motorization, parking was not a big problem because car ownership was low. However, as economic success led to more cars on the road, parking became more competitive and chaotic. Motorists demanded more parking, and city governments responded by building more parking and requiring developers to provide parking on-site. This seemed like a good solution, but it didn't work.
The problem with building more parking is that it doesn't solve the root problem. The root problem is that motorists believe they have a right to park wherever they want, for free or at a very low cost. By building more parking, governments are reinforcing this belief and creating more problems. The solution is to manage the on-street parking more effectively. By managing on-street parking with fees and good enforcement, motorists will have an incentive to look for off-street parking and be willing to pay for it.
Dr. Paul Barter also points out that the real estate industry can respond to the demand for parking if motorists have the right incentives to look for off-street parking and pay for it. This means that city governments don't need to build lots of parking themselves or mandate parking on-site for developers. They just need to manage the on-street parking more effectively.
One example of effective parking management is in Japanese cities. In Japan, on-street parking is mostly banned, even on minor streets. This is because the streets are very narrow, and there's not enough room for parking. Overnight parking on the streets is completely banned. This may seem extreme, but it works. Japanese cities have enough off-street parking at about the right prices because on-street parking is managed so well.
In conclusion, the solution to parking problems is not to build more parking. The solution is to manage the on-street parking more effectively. By doing so, we can create incentives for motorists to look for off-street parking and pay for it. This will also create incentives for the real estate industry to meet the demand for parking. So, the next time you're struggling to find a parking spot in your city, remember that the solution is not to build more parking, but to manage the on-street parking more effectively.