Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Never Pick a Fight When You're Severely Outgunned

If you've read this blog for any period of time, you know that it has some enemies: Brueggman, Wendell Cox, Joel Kotkin, and Randall O'Toole. The bone to pick isn't in the disagreement with their opinions, it is rather with the inconsistencies of logic and rhetoric to the points their making. In my estimation, this is the tell tale sign of corruption, and in this case, that means corruption of thought. They represent other interests while pretending to represent the "common man." Only if that common man happens to be the Koch Brothers, et al. If you are a common man, are you worth multiple billions? Want to know how morons get loud microphones in a supposed meritocracy? Well, there is your answer.

With that said, Randall O'Toole decided to take up the case for free parking in response to a New York Times article entitled "Free Parking Comes at a Price" by Tyler Cowen, since they're such staunch free marketeers and libertarians. Oh wait, their is the first case of logical dissonance.

Then came the response to the response, and this is by the parking guru himself, Professor Donald Shoup, who came out with all guns a'blazin':

Before I examine your misunderstanding of what I have written, I will first summarize the three basic parking reforms I recommend in The High Cost of Free Parking: (1) remove off-street parking requirements, (2) charge market prices for on-street parking to achieve about an 85-percent occupancy rate for curb spaces, and (3) return the resulting revenue to pay for public improvements in the metered neighborhoods.

I will quote ten extracts from your post, and comment on each of them.

1. “Shoup’s work is biased by his residency in Los Angeles, the nation’s densest urban area. One way L.A. copes with that density is by requiring builders of offices, shopping malls, and multi-family residences to provide parking. Shoup assumes that every municipality in the country has such parking requirements, even though many do not.” (ed. note: They do love to quote Los Angeles as the densest urban area don't they? A statistic itself that is meaningless because of where they choose to draw the boundary for where to take that measure. Is it dense at the block level? At the neighborhood level? At the City level? Not really. They go with the metropolitan area. Then they'll turn around and use LA as a model for success when that rhetoric suits their nefarious purpose.

Even Houston, which does not have zoning, has minimum parking requirements, and they resemble the parking requirements in almost every other city in the United States. Houston requires 1.25 parking spaces for each efficiency apartment in an apartment house, for example, and 1.333 parking spaces for each one-bedroom apartment. Here is the link to the minimum parking requirements in Houston’s municipal code:

Does the Antiplanner, who is “dedicated to the sunset of government planning,” really believe that government planners know exactly how many parking spaces to require for every economic activity at every site in every city, no matter how much the required parking spaces may cost and no matter how little drivers may be willing to pay to use them? Does the Antiplanner really support Houston’s minimum parking requirement of 1.333 spaces for each one-bedroom apartment because he believes that Houston’s government planners can accurately predict the “need” for parking at every apartment to one-thousandth of a parking space?
Read the rest of his response here.