This excellent article in Slate discusses the hidden costs of parking. I won’t attempt to summarize, it’s worth reading in its entirety.
It got me thinking about the cost of parking in the City, especially residential parking permits. Is $60 per year a market price? Or, is the City government subsidizing the cost of owning a vehicle and providing parking at below-market rates, foregoing revenue and significantly contributing to traffic congestion.
Here’s a quick ‘napkin math’ analysis:
SF DPT defines a “standard space” as being 8 feet by 18 feet (Source). That’s 144 sq. ft. and spots cost $60 per year, or $5 per month. That’s $0.0347 per sq. ft. per month.
Let’s compare that to my apartment. My room is 12 feet by 20 feet. That’s 240 sq. ft. and I pay $650 per month for my room. That’s $2.7083 per sq. ft. per month.
That’s significantly below-market. Or, let’s simply compare the $5 per month to a garage access spot that near my area averages $200 per month.
Why are we subsidizing car ownership in a city with too many cars?