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Regulating on-street parking

  • Calthrop, Edward
  • Proost, Stef

Consider the choices available to a shopper driving to a city and trying to park downtown. One option, typical to many cities, is to follow the signposts to an off-street parking facility, which is often privately operated. Another option is to search for an on-street spot. If this proves unsuccessful, it is always possible to return to the off-street facility. We formalise such a setting and examine optimal on-street parking policy in the presence of an off-street market. Not surprisingly, the amount of socially-wasteful searching behaviour is shown to depend on the prices of both the off- and on-street market. If the off-street market is run competitively, optimal on-street policy reduces to a simple and attractive rule: set the on-street price equal to the resource cost of off-street parking supply. Other pricing rules result in either excessive searching behaviour or excessive off-street investment costs. Time restrictions - a common alternative to on-street fees - are also shown to be inefficient. In practice, however, off-street markets are unlikely to be competitive. We examine the case of a single off-street supplier playing as a Stackelberg follower to the government regulated on-street market. Based on a numerical example (calibrated to London), optimal on-street policy is shown to either involve setting a relatively high on-street price, such that the monopolist is induced to undercut and gain the entire parking demand, or setting a relatively low price, while the monopolist maximises profit on the residual demand curve. Which strategy is optimal is shown to be parameter dependent.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Regional Science and Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 36 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 29-48

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Handle: RePEc:eee:regeco:v:36:y:2006:i:1:p:29-48
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  1. Richard Arnott & John Rowse, 1997. "Modeling Parking," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 350., Boston College Department of Economics.
  2. Guesnerie, Roger & Roberts, Kevin, 1984. "Effective Policy Tools and Quantity Controls," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 59-86, January.
  3. Anderson, Simon P. & de Palma, Andre, 2004. "The economics of pricing parking," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 1-20, January.
  4. Edward Calthrop & Stef Proost, 2004. "Regulating on-street parking," Energy, Transport and Environment Working Papers Series ete0410, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën, Energy, Transport and Environment.
  5. Glazer, Amihai & Niskanen, Esko, 1992. "Parking fees and congestion," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 123-132, March.
  6. Arnott, Richard & de Palma, Andre & Lindsey, Robin, 1991. "A temporal and spatial equilibrium analysis of commuter parking," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 301-335, August.
  7. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521497190 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. De Vany, Arthur S & Saving, Thomas R, 1977. "Product Quality, Uncertainty, and Regulation: The Trucking Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(4), pages 583-94, September.
  9. Verhoef, Erik & Nijkamp, Peter & Rietveld, Piet, 1995. "The economics of regulatory parking policies: The (IM)possibilities of parking policies in traffic regulation," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 141-156, March.
  10. Carl Davidson & Raymond Deneckere, 1986. "Long-Run Competition in Capacity, Short-Run Competition in Price, and the Cournot Model," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(3), pages 404-415, Autumn.
  11. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521497701 is not listed on IDEAS
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