parking meter on sidewalk

The Right Price for Curb Parking

Setting the right price for on-street, curb parking, requires a thorough understanding of the theory and practice of demand-based pricing.

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Course Info

  • Duration 5 video lessons (51 Mins)
  • Published Published
  • 4.57
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Browse Course Chapters

  • Chapter Locked
    Chapter Duration 3 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    Demand-Responsive Parking: San Francisco
    Chapter Duration 8 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    What is The Right Price?
    Chapter Duration 16 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    Cruising For Underpriced Curb Parking
    Chapter Duration 7 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    Demand-Based Parking For Curb Parking
    Chapter Duration 14 mins

What You Will Learn

  • How to set the right prices for curb parking
  • How demand-based prices curb parking have worked in practice
  • How underpriced curb parking leads to cruising, traffic congestion, air pollution, carbon emissions, and off-street parking requirements.
  • How market prices for curb parking will reveal that the curb lane may have higher-value alternative uses, such as loading zones, bus and bike lanes, and restaurants.

Course Description

Free curb parking in a crowded city presents a classic commons problem: no one owns it and everyone can use it. In 1954, Nobel laureate William Vickrey proposed solving the commons problem by setting the prices for curb parking to “keep the amount of parking down sufficiently so that there will almost always be space available for those willing to pay the fee.” Cities can charge the lowest price that will leave one or two open spaces on every block.

Such a demand-based pricing parking policy has several major advantages. First, it will ensure that curb parking is well used but readily available. Second, it will eliminate cruising in search of an open parking space, which adds greatly to traffic congestion, fuel consumption, and carbon emissions. Third, it will reduce double parking and other violations such as parking in bus stops and blocking fire hydrants. Fourth, curb parking can become a major source of public revenue.

Setting the right price for on-street, curb parking, requires a thorough understanding of the theory and practice of demand-based pricing.

Learn these skills

  • Economics
  • Land Use
  • Parking
  • Regulations
  • Sustainability
  • Transportation
  • Urban Design
  • Urbanism


This course is approved for 1 AICP CM credit.


This course is approved for 1 SACPLAN CPD point.

Meet Your Instructor

Donald Shoup

Donald Shoup

Donald Shoup is Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Urban Planning at UCLA. His research has focused on transportation, public finance, and land economics.

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