Donald Shoup Recommends Three Steps to Improve Downtown Parking

Posted: Oct 23, 2018 3:26 PMUpdated: Nov 10, 2018 10:33 PM
In October, renowned parking expert Donald Shoup came to Pensacola to give a talk at CivicCon to discuss “how to get parking right." On the following day, the Downtown Improvement Board leveraged the opportunity to invite Shoup to meet with the DIB board and management to discuss ways to improve downtown parking.
In his talk, Should explains his theory that parking can be vastly improved with three fundamental steps, as explained in his 2005 book, “The High Cost of Free Parking.” He recommends finding a more positive balance by:

1. Charging the right price for on-street parking – This means charging the lowest reasonable amount to ensure that there is always a small handful of available parking spaces
2. Spending the revenue from paid parking to benefit metered neighborhoods – By using the revenue from paid parking to directly benefit the areas from which it is generated, Shoup argues that the money goes into the meter, and subsequently comes back to benefit people in various ways
3. Removing off-street parking requirements – Finally, Shoup posits that the combination of removing off-street parking requirements and charging the "right" price for on-street parking, will cause parking to eventually self-regulate. Without off-street parking requirements, these off-street spaces can then be given alternative uses
In our continued pursuit of improving parking downtown, we are focused on taking expert opinions into consideration to see how we can implement positive changes to improve the downtown parking experience for visitors, residents and merchants.
Click here to watch Donald Shoup’s full CivicCon talk.