Adam Millard-Ball, a planner and parking expert with Nelson\Nyggard, a consulting company from San Francisco, is giving a lecture on Monday night entitled: “Can NYC Solve Its Parking Problem?” It is at the Center for Architecture, 536 La Guardia Place, from 6 to 8 p.m. All who are interested in innovative pricing mechanisms to increase parking space availability should come to this lecture.
To get people thinking about the concepts he’s going to be discussing, he sent out a mini-quiz, as follows:
1) Define the term “parking demand”. Provide a definition from the point of view of a typical economist, and the point of view of a typical American traffic engineer. Why are these definitions radically different from each other?
2) Define the terms “parking cost” and “parking price”. Are these terms interchangeable? Why or why not?
3) According to the zoning ordinances of many American cities, what is the purpose of minimum parking requirements? Have they achieved this purpose?
4) According to several transportation experts, cities can eliminate minimum parking requirements in transit-oriented developments and downtowns, but only if the area is very well served by transit. How much transit service does an area need before minimum parking requirements can be entirely eliminated?
5) What is the right price for parking at a transit station? How would you go about determining the appropriate price? What are the key factors to be considered when setting a parking prices for a transit-oriented development? Sample problem: A transit-oriented development is proposed for the MacArthur BART station in Oakland. Parking at most BART stations used to be free, is now one dollar per day at many stations, and was recently raised to five dollars per day at the West Oakland station. Explain how you would determine a schedule of recommended parking rates for the MacArthur BART transit-oriented development, and do a quick estimate of the likely price.
6) According to many transportation planners, economic development specialists and private sector developers, transit-oriented developments require major public subsidies. For example, Deborah Castles, vice president of development of Oakland-based Aegis Equity Partners, is currently working on the proposed development at the MacArthur BART Station. In a recent San Francisco Business Times story on the development, Castles is quoted as saying, “When you look at other transit villages, they are dependent on enormous public subsidies. Ours will need some, but what will make MacArthur work is for-sale market-rate housing.” Do transit-oriented developments require public subsidies, and if so, why?