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The Value of a Parking Space
Should we end free parking?
A local transportation committee in Manhattan has considered the impossible: ending free parking in Manhattan altogether. The times are changing, James Barron tells us:
Next year, New York will start charging drivers entering Manhattan’s most congested zones in an effort to get more cars off the roads.
The City Council speaker, Corey Johnson, says it is time to “reorient and reprioritize how we use shared street space.” Last month he pushed a $1.7 billion plan through the Council to significantly expand bike lanes.
“Cars can’t continue to be solely king of the road and the only thing we think about when we design streets,” Mr. Johnson, a Democrat who is expected to run for mayor in 2021, said in an interview.
Consider the value of the real estate, which the city is giving away for free:
“Manhattan real estate costs on average $1,773 per square foot, and yet we are giving away 180 square feet of prime city space, almost a studio apartment, with every free parking space,” said Heather Thompson, the chief executive of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, a nonprofit advocacy group.
I bet that similar economics work in Beacon, especially as a greater number of tourists are visiting the city, and taking advantage of free parking.
I envision a future where parking is priced in a way that benefits the community equally, including people – like me – who seldom park anywhere but my driveway. Sure, the store owners want free parking. I’d be happier with a dedicated bike lane on Main Street.