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Shoup, Ricks, and Perkins discuss parking on Kojo

The Kojo Nnamdi show on WAMU is hosting a discussion about variable-rate "performance" parking in the District, featuring Donald Shoup of UCLA, Karina Ricks from DDOT, and myself, beginning at noon.

Dr. Shoup. Photo by M.V. Jantzen on Flickr.

Dr. Shoup is the author of "The High Cost of Free Parking." Ms. Ricks is Associate Director for the Policy, Planning and Sustainability Administration, which includes parking policy.

We will be discussing the two performance parking pilot districts near the ballpark and Columbia Heights, the new performance parking pilot in San Francisco, SFPark, and other parking management improvements in DC and around the world.

Listen live here. Call in with questions to 800-433-8850 or tweet them to @kojoshow.

Update: The archived audio is here.

Michael Perkins serves on the Arlington County Transportation Commission, though the views expressed here are his own. He lives in Arlington with his wife and two children. 


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Is this the same Karina Ricks who misjudged (or misstated) the with of a local street in NW DC (Idaho Avenue) in sworn testimony before the Zoning Commission? Who now plans to spend several hundred thousand dollars of taxpayer funds to widen it for a truck and auto access to a PRIVATE development project (sold as "transit oriented development," no less), at a time when the public schools are cutting 600 teaching positions? The same DDOT employee whose mistake will result in removing numerous mature oak trees at a time when the city is losing its tree canopy? If it is, perhaps she should worry more about her job performance than performance parking?

by Sarah on May 11, 2011 6:30 pm • linkreport

These "parking management improvements" are ruining the parking environment in DC, in my opinion. My main complaint is the of removing of individually metered spaces, which has meant the loss of spaces, because people now park however they want, not confining themselves to a designated space. I'm all for more modern ways to pay for parking, but why can't it happen right where I park and not way down the block such that I have to walk there and then come back to my car?

by KevinM on May 12, 2011 8:05 am • linkreport


The research shows that going to multi-space meters without individually designated spaces actually increases parking capacity. Depending on block length, it adds 10-15%.

You otherwise have to stripe spaces big enough for Chevy Suburbans, when most cars are not nearly that large.

by Alex B. on May 12, 2011 8:18 am • linkreport

@AlexB, KevinM: I actually like the pay-by-space technologies better than pay and display. It allows adding time remotely from cell or any PBS meter in the city, it simplifies data collection for measuring occupancy, and it helps out people with small cars by giving them big parking space targets to hit. One of the things I like about my smaller car is that it's easy to park, especially in Arlington where spaces are marked with lines. Where there are spaces without lines, sometimes you have to guess whether you'll be able to fit. Most of the time I do, but sometimes I get it wrong.

PBS also eliminates the walk back to the car to put your receipt in.

by Michael Perkins on May 12, 2011 9:14 am • linkreport


The precision from data collection for PBS isn't necessary to make good decisions regarding price. I also think the benefit of being able to add time will disappear - you'll be able to do this in the future from any number of modes of payment.

We're in a constrained environment with lots of demands for curbside use - bus stops, loading zones, on-street parking, etc. We can preserve on-street parking capacity, but that means making the best use of the space.

As far as guessing if you can fit your car in, I find that most people are pretty good at doing just that.

by Alex B. on May 12, 2011 9:29 am • linkreport

@ Alex B

Don't know about "the research" but I know what I see on the streets when I go out to dinner or drinks in, say, Eastern Market or Barracks Row- people take up way too much space and therefore leave less room for other cars, and by the way this also causes folks to try to squeeze their cars into spaces that are not quite big enough(by that I mean they park right on the bumper of adjacent cars, leaving precious little room to get out). That may not be "research, but again, that's my experience. Lastly, this whole technological upgrade thing is geared to folk who subscribe to new technology- I do not want to pay by phone, or put my card in a machine on the street; further, I do not want to have to walk to the end of a block to a machine, then return to my car with a slip- that may be good for young folk but I find it objectionable. My $.02.

by KevinM on May 12, 2011 10:01 am • linkreport

When did "the ability to parallel park" become a lost skill to city dwellers? I live on a small side-street, and we just park. If there were "designated" spaces, there would be no way we'd be able to fit the equivalent number of autos in the same space. Just no way.

And as far as having little space to squeeze into spaces: welcome to city living. Buy a "bumper bully" or whatever you call those things. Because your bumpers are not going to be pristine after 2-3 years of parking on the street. Not unless you pay for off-street parking, and only ever use your car to leave town.

by oboe on May 12, 2011 10:10 am • linkreport

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