DC Councilmember Tommy Wells apparently has been reading his Donald Shoup. New York livable-streets activists have been calling for parking pricing reform for some time, following the teachings of groundbreaking parking scholar Shoup. Slowly, NYC leaders are starting to come around to this idea. But when they arrive, they may find DC already there waiting for them.
According to JDLand and The Washington Post, Wells, who represents the area around the new Washington Nationals stadium and Capitol Hill, “want[s] to take a more market-driven approach to the price of street parking” around the stadium, as well as Eastern Market and Barracks Row on Capitol Hill, other areas that draw a lot of drivers despite Metro stations very close by.
Under Wells’ plan, “retail streets” would have parking rates set to a market level, higher on game days and lower at times of less demand, just as Shoup recommends. On residential streets, one side would receive meter kiosks while both sides remain available for residents to park for free. There are more details at JDLand, but the bottom line is that Wells is taking a smart approach to solving a thorny problem. Usually parking debates revolve around more parking versus less parking. With variable pricing, there’s another tool in the box.