Friday, 19 August 2011

The cost of parking yet again

The price of a parking ticket has made the news again. Adelaide Now has an article about parking fees in the CBD rising.

With no evidence at all, the article begins by saying "Rising city parking costs sting retailers". Although I have looked hard, I have not been able to find a study that has actually measured theh effect on retail spending of car parking fees.

One of the problems with the article is that it is confusing two things. It says:
Flinders St UPark users are among the worst hit, with hourly rates almost doubling since last year. A five-hour weekday park will cost commuters $25, compared with $13 previously. Weekend street parks also jumped from 30c to $1 when the Council reviewed its fees last month.

The $25 weekday cost for commuters is irrelevant to city retailers. That is the cost for people parking their car and going to work. The question is what casual visitors have to pay. That is shown in the next sentence. Most shopping is done at the weekend and we are told that on street parking fees have jumped (a massive) 30c to $1. How does that break the bank and damage retailers' business?

The council spokesperson who is quoted is dead right. Adelaide's parking costs are some of the cheapest in the country. Not only that, we have a huge number of inner city car parks compared say to Perth. When I was there recently, I did not see any evidence that it had damaged business. I am not sure parking could actually get much cheaper in Adelaide.

The article goes on to say:
Rundle Mall Management Authority chair Theo Maras said it was up to Adelaide City Council to provide affordable parking for people who were visiting or working in the city.
Well, no it isn't. It is up to Adelaide City Council to provide the an environment for the best transport options for everybody, taking into account individual benefits and the wider cost that is born by everybody. Providng "affordable" parking amounts to a subsidy. There's plenty of that already for motorists. We do not need more.

A space the size of the largest room in your house to store your car for only $
Borrowed from here

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