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Monday, February 28, 2011

The (R)evolution of parking in Bogotá: Part 2 Too much of a good thing? (2000-2007)

This is the second of a guest series on parking policy in Bogotá by guest blogger, Carlosfelipe Pardo of Slow Research (site in Spanish).

The first post in this series described one of Enrique Peñalosa’s least known “revolutions” in urban and transport policy: parking. It explained that his parking policies were based on the view that public space should be for people first and foremost, and thus on-street parking should be banished (or at least limited) while off-street parking could be encouraged.

This post briefly analyzes the effects that this had on Bogotá’s parking policy after Peñalosa’s time in office ended at the end of 2000.

Private vehicles (cars) should get their own – private – space

As I described before, Peñalosa’s view was that space for parking should not altogether disappear, but rather be transferred from the public to the private sphere. As Peñalosa himself says, “cars are like shoes: why should citizens expect the city administration to give them a closet to store them when they are not used?” He argued that this should be the private sector’s role and they should charge for it.

“Parking where it belongs” in Calle 93: private space dedicated for parking and, beside it, sidewalks that had previously been occupied by free parking space

How much is too much?
However, this leaves the questions: how much parking space should the private sector provide, and should it be regulated to avoid over-supply of parking spaces?