IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

A Temporal and Spatial Equilibrium Analysis of Commuter Parking

Listed author(s):
  • Richard Arnott

In major cities parking costs typically exceed automobile running costs, while the time to find a parking spot and walk to work can be comparable to driving time. Yet models of urban commuting have ignored parking completely. The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of parking on morning rush hour congestion and to assess the relative merits of road tolls and parking fees as tools for congestion relief. The paper extends Vickrey's (1969) bottleneck road congestion model by assuming on-street parking is located along commuting routes radiating from the CBD. Absent pricing, drivers occupy parking spots in order of increasing distance from the CBD. Three pricing schemes are considered: 1) an optimal time-varying road toll, 2) competitively set parking fees, and 3) optimal location-dependent parking fees. The optimal road toll is shown to eliminate queueing, but does not affect the order in which parking spots are occupied. In contrast, competitive parking fees do nothing to reduce queueing , but induce drivers to park in order of decreasing distance from the CBD, so that in the aggregate commuters arrive at work closer to their preferred time. Optimal parking fees reduce queueing in addition to supporting the efficient order of parking. For reasonable parameter values competitively set parking fees are found to be relatively inefficient-indeed potentially welfare-reducing. Optimal parking fees, however, are generally superior to a road toll. In light of the logistical drawbacks of tolls and political opposition that road pricing has met, this suggests that parking fees deserve more attention than they have received in the literature.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: main text
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science in its series Discussion Papers with number 884.

in new window

Date of creation: May 1990
Handle: RePEc:nwu:cmsems:884
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science, Northwestern University, 580 Jacobs Center, 2001 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208-2014

Phone: 847/491-3527
Fax: 847/491-2530
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Email:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

in new window

  1. Lee, N & Dalvi, M Q, 1969. "Variations in the Value of Travel Time," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 37(3), pages 213-236, September.
  2. Arnott, Richard & de Palma, Andre & Lindsey, Robin, 1990. "Economics of a bottleneck," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 111-130, January.
  3. Vickrey, William S, 1969. "Congestion Theory and Transport Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 251-260, May.
  4. Small, Kenneth A, 1982. "The Scheduling of Consumer Activities: Work Trips," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 467-479, June.
  5. David W. Gillen, 1977. "Alternative Policy Variables to Influence Urban Transport Demand," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 10(4), pages 686-695, November.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nwu:cmsems:884. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Fran Walker)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.