In The High Cost of Free Parking, Donald Shoup breaks down the real expense of free lots and garages (e.g. the kind at malls) and finds that they frequently run five figures per parking space. Developers may pay for it up front, but the public pays in terms of air quality, a rise in commercial rents (passed on to consumers, naturally), and cost-of-living increases. So next time your Prius-driving pals make fun of your gas-guzzling SUV, remind them that their ride has the same unpleasant impact when it's sitting in a parking lot. [WorldChanging via BoingBoing]
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