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54 Road Pricing: Public Perceptions and Program Development into some of the institutional and technological challenges facing large-scale implementation of these concepts: · Road User Fee Program is a pilot implemented in Portland, Oregon, and assesses the technical feasibility of replacing the state gas tax with mileage fees in order to fund transportation, as well as the potential of using variable fees in congested areas at peak travel times to influence traffic levels. ODOT is also conducting a demonstration of a weightdistance tax for trucks in partner- ship with a Portland-based trucking company. · Traffic Choice Study in the Puget Sound Region was implemented over 8 months to test the prac- ticality and travel behavior implications of charging tolls based on distance, time of day, and road location. · Mileage-Based User Fee (Pay-as-You-Drive) demonstration project in Minnesota evaluated the impact on travel of charging auto lease costs or insurance premiums by the mile. The project aimed at better understanding the sensitivity of drivers to alterations in vehicle ownership/ lease costs and how results varied by income, location, and annual mileage driven. Planners also wanted to gauge the potential of VMT fees to reduce travel, acceptance of VMT fees, and requisite institutional arrangements for eventual wide-scale implementation. All the above studies involved relatively small sample sizes and were conducted in metropolitan areas. Cooperating gas stations in the area and participant vehicles were equipped with hardware needed to charge fees based on mileage. All programs established mileage budgets based on base- line driving records from which mileage-based charges were debited. 2.3.6 Parking Pricing Parking pricing strategies are applicable on and off street at spaces controlled by municipalities and can be of the following types: · Revising or instituting rates to vary by times and/or locations of peak use, for example higher in congested zones and/or peak times of day · Rates progressing by length of time parked, for example more costly rates for second or subse- quent hours parked · Charges applied by actual time parked versus by time blocks; examples include daily versus monthly parking charges and rates by minutes instead of by hours or all day rates Recent examples of these parking pricing strategies include the SFpark program in San Fran- cisco, the Park Smart pilot program in New York City, and a pilot program in Austin. Exhibit 25 provides more information on parking pricing. Exhibit 25. Parking pricing. Planning Considerations Travel/Traffic Elasticity: General price-demand elasticity "rule of thumb" is 0.1 to 0.3, meaning a 10% increase in price reduces demand about 1% to 3%, including shifts to other available parking on and off street, alternative modes, or forgone trips. Through-traffic proportion: New York City finds 39% of central business district traffic is through, unaffected by parking policy. The role of subsidized parking: Subsidized parking by employers affects the price elasticity of parking demand (New York City experience). Municipal rate hike: The City of Eugene raised monthly parking rates at two municipal garages from $16 to $30 per month, and at several surface lots from $6 to $16 per month, reducing number of monthly parkers from 560 to 360 (about half changing parking locations, the rest shifting modes).
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Planning Guide: Developing Road Pricing Plans and Programs 55 Exhibit 25. (Continued). Planning Considerations Variable on-street meter rates: Port of San Francisco adopted "progressive rates" at meters (low first 2 hours, higher third and fourth hours) with "minimal change" in parking demand or turnover due to minimal enforcement in contrast to same strategy in New York City with good enforcement bringing "significant decrease" in occupancy and duration. Revenue/Finance Generally parking demand has low elasticity, meaning an increase in price usually brings an increase in revenues to operators, though results depend on the availability and price of alternative parking supply; where such supply is very competitive, parking demand may prove to be more elastic. Revenue sharing may enhance acceptability, as with some increased revenues going to a parking district for priced zone improvements in sidewalks, lighting, landscape, and security. Equity Little empirical research on parking pricing impacts across income groups. Perceived or actual income inequity may be mitigated by some revenues devoted to increased transit, as in Boulder, Colorado. Environment Revised on-street variable pricing projected to reduce VMT 14,000/day in non-attainment areas of California (San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Joaquin Valley). Policy/Institutional Little or no required new policy or institutional formation if parking authority and operations already in place. New residential preferential parking programs require legislation, permit sales, and enforcement. Emerging Directions Motivators Driver familiarity and acceptance of parking pricing. Possible allies in businesses concerned with commuters "poaching" shopper parking, where there are no time limits for parking and/or low meter rates encouraging feeding. General excess parking demand relative to availability of spaces. Inconvenience to many interest groups in long search times for parking. Promising New electronic technologies make variable pricing easier to implement and Developments customer friendly by accepting various payment types. Possible integration of parking pricing technology with payment for transit and toll roads. Technologies offer improved data collection on parking use and turnover for evaluation and planning. New York City and San Francisco implementing pricing pilots on street, with comprehensive evaluations. Success Considerations Identify and engage affected parties early in planning, including residents, businesses, commuters, shoppers, and environmental interest groups (downtown and residential associations may provide starting points). Identify appropriate multiple goals of interest to affected parties (e.g., reduced cruising, more shopper parking, neighborhood protections); tailor strategy to particular commuter market (especially cash out). Develop explicit benefit plan for increased revenues dovetailing with goals and mitigation concerns (e.g., enhanced transit, spillover protections, better enforcement). Ensure effective enforcement upon implementation of new pricing. Ensure that revenue increase and allocation plan is within the bounds of public and business acceptability. Examples: New York City employs neighborhood and business champions, walking surveys to evaluate and communicate impacts, regular neighborhood seminars to 59 community boards, voluntary participation in pilot; Redwood City, Pasadena, and Austin return portion of fee revenues to improvement districts for zone.