He makes this important point:
There are a couple of problems with the Planetzen piece Paul links, the major one is that the author feels that the solution to problems is public provided parking (either on or off street) and that this should be paid for by local merchants by taxing them for the parking spaces they aren’t required to have. (Peter Guest comments on the fiasco this caused in the UK in June’s PT, on the streets – or at least the ‘net — next week.)
I tend to agree with Don Shoup that the free market is the best approach here. If parking is needed, and if the on street spaces are properly priced, then off street garages would be a viable commercial venture and the local city need not be involved. However if private business must compete with taxpayer subsidized or free parking supplied by the city, there is no reason for the private sector to move in and provide the service.I agree. And I am looking forward to reading Peter Guest's comments on the UK example.
I was also worried about Mott Smith's claim that business districts still need plentiful free parking. Regular readers of Reinventing Parking know that I disagree with him on that!
On the other hand, I am not too rigid about it either. In many cities the political process is not ready to stop promoting parking supply. If that is your situation, then public-sector provided parking is probably the lesser of two evils.
In other words, if you really must promote more parking supply than would be justified by parking fees alone, then I would at least prefer it to be "public" parking (as in OPEN to the PUBLIC) built by a local government rather than "private" parking (as in NOT open to the public, 'customers only', 'tenants only', etc.).