The Hidden Costs of Free Parking

Bryan Pijanowski counts parking spaces at Purdue University. In his own county, he found 355,000 off-street, nonresidential parking spaces, three for every person in the county. Now he wants to take his count nationwide. Dr. Donald Shoup, professor of urban planning at the University of California at Los Angeles, says there is no such thing as free parking.

"We all pay for it, not in our role as drivers, but as residents, taxpayers, and customers." According to the Christian Science Monitor: Big parking lots hike building costs and get passed through to the consumer, sometimes through higher rents in their apartment buildings or bigger costs at their grocery stores. "Every place we drive and park free, we really pay for that parking as something other than as a driver," Dr. Shoup says.

Others worry about the amount of paving. An anonymous source in the EPA told the CSM: "It's the amount of water, the speed and temperature of it pouring off these oceans of asphalt we have in this country, that concern us. And that's not even talking about the contamination washing off all that asphalt." Read it all at ::Christian Science Monitor

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