City Considering Congestion Parking for the Downtown

4_8_09_parking_meter.jpgPhoto:Spacing Magazine/Flickr

A lot has been said over some of the items on today’s City Council Transportation Committee hearing, most of it bad, but there is one agenda item we haven’t yet touched on that could have a huge impact on traffic and congestion in Los Angeles.

Under the innocuous headlines "Funding Agreements for Congestion Reduction Initiatives," the LADOT outlines a plan to bring congestion parking to Los Angeles.  Under congestion pricing, the cost of metered car parking changes throughout the day to go up and down with demand.  By pricing parking so that there will always be between ten and thirty percent of on-street parking capacity available; the city hopes to improve mobility, optimize revenue and even encourage a modal shift away from single-occupancy vehicle driving.

The LADOT plans to pilot congestion pricing in the Central Business, Chinatown, Civic Center, East Downtown, Little Tokyo and Washington-Broadway Districts

The LADOT explains how congestion parking can benefit the downtown:

Commuters and visitors to Downtown have historically enjoyed underpriced on-street parking, which has had the adverse effect of encouraging single-occupancy vehicle travel to a destination rich with transit options. By properly pricing both on- and offstreet parking in a coordinated manner, based on supply and demand, the final cost of their trip will increase, thus encouraging motorists to leave their cars at home or to park outside the Downtown core and use public transit to their final destination. Those willing to pay the "true cost" of their parking can travel directly to their destination with the Downtown IPM Project, thus reducing congestion and travel times for through traffic and transit buses along Downtown streets

Before the LADOT can begin the program, it needs to pay for new technologies including new sensors and meters.  There’s no word yet on how the increased funds from the new parking rates would be spent.

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If you want to reduce congestion, you should first increase the cost of public parking, argued UCLA Professor, and Parking Policy Cult Hero, Donald Shoup at the recent "It’s Time to Get LA Moving" conference. Shoup discussed studies done at UCLA showing that a drivers choosing to sniff out a cheap parking space rather than pay […]

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