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The uneasy case for lower Parking Standards

Author

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  • W. Bowman Cutter
  • Sofia F. Franco

Abstract

Minimum parking requirements are the norm for urban and suburban development in the United States (Davidson and Dolnick (2002)). The justification for parking space requirements is that overflow parking will occupy nearby street or off-street parking. Shoup (1999) and Willson (1995) provides cases where there is reason to believe that parking space requirements have forced parcel developers to place more parking than they would in the absence of parking requirements. If the effect of parking minimums is to significantly increase the land area devoted to parking, then the increase in impervious surfaces would likely cause water quality degradation, increased flooding, and decreased groundwater recharge. However, to our knowledge the existing literature does not test the effect of parking minimums on the amount of lot space devoted to parking beyond a few case studies. This paper tests the hypothesis that parking space requirements cause an oversupply of parking by examining the implicit marginal value of land allocated to parking spaces. This is an indirect test of the effects of parking requirements that is similar to Glaeser and Gyourko (2003). A simple theoretical model shows that the marginal value of additional parking to the sale price should be equal to the cost of land plus the cost of parking construction. We estimate the marginal values of parking and lot area with spatial methods using a large data set from the Los Angeles area non-residential property sales and find that for most of the property types the marginal value of parking is significantly below that of the parcel area. This evidence supports the contention that minimum parking requirements significantly increase the amount of parcel area devoted to parking. JEL codes:R52, H23

Suggested Citation

  • W. Bowman Cutter & Sofia F. Franco, 2012. "The uneasy case for lower Parking Standards," FEUNL Working Paper Series wp564, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia.
  • Handle: RePEc:unl:unlfep:wp564
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    File URL: http://fesrvsd.fe.unl.pt/WPFEUNL/WP2012/Wp564.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bowman Cutter IV & Autumn DeWoody, 2010. "Parking Externalities in Commercial Real Estate," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 38(2), pages 197-223.
    2. Sivitanidou, Rena & Wheaton, William C., 1992. "Wage and rent capitalization in the commercial real estate market," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 206-229, March.
    3. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko, 2005. "Urban Decline and Durable Housing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 345-375, April.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Parking; Land Use; Sprawl;

    JEL classification:

    • R52 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Land Use and Other Regulations
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies

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