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.

  • LAofAnaheim

    The problem is not the ‘cheapness’ of on-street parking in DTLA, it’s that businesses continue to provide “free parking” or even reduced parking. Look at LA Live, only $5 to park with validation? Heck, some of the lots around downtown only charge $5 for a full day of parking. $5 freakin’ dollars! What city are we in? Lincoln, NE? That is laughable compared to NYC, Chicago, etc.. Even on Sundays, people can find lots for $3 for a whole day.

    I’d love to see more on-street parking in DTLA for traffic calming reasons. The problem is that parking garages are too enticing for people to still drive. We should actually “congestion price” (i.e. tax) the parking garages a much higher rate in order to reduce single-occupancy driving.

  • The point is that with less street parking, the demand for off street parking will increase and then the prices in the garage can increase. This is the first step in transforming the parking culture in LA. Like in NYC, the garages can start charging higher prices for peak hours and less for off peak. It’s their own form of congestion pricing right now. And it works quite well. It’s about time that we start charging for the assets we have in this city. This is a great way to raise funds for our ailing transportation systems in LA.

  • Ryan

    Rich transit destination?

    Give me a subway system that is half as dexterous as NYC, Chicago, even SF! Then we can begin to use the word “rich” in the same sentence as LA transit!

    Cart before the horse in true LA fashion.

    Speaking of rich, here is yet another example where the upper-class won’t be bothered and the burden will fall on the little guy.

    At any rate, thanks to all for working on the issue.

    -Common Man, Downtown Dweller & Former Downtown Parker,


Professor Donald Shoup: How About Congestion Parking?

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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