Are We Entitled to Free Parking?

Let’s face it. Parking is a pain. Just knowing you’ve got to drive into the city center probably induces some sort of anxiety. In many cases you’ve either got to pay ridiculous rates for your parking spot, or spend half your day driving around looking for a free (or close to free) spot – and then you’ll end up having to walk four miles anyway. The parking issue has got some activist groups up in arms, battling for parking that makes sense.

According to an interesting article by TheWeek.com, one group in L.A. has dubbed itself “The Los Angeles Parking Freedom Initiative”, which begs the question – is free parking a right? The U.S. is a driving-centric country, with more than 250 million registered cars, but just like driving is not a right, parking cannot be considered a right either.

It is important that each city has a parking infrastructure that will provide its residents with ample and affordable parking while still supporting the needs of its government. Each city is so different that it doesn’t make much sense to have a blanket policy across the entire country. For example, Detroit spends more money each year issuing parking tickets than it does from collecting on them. It’s actually costing Detroit money to charge for parking.

One study shows that if Manhattan provided free parking, more than 19,200 additional cars would enter the city each day. Other studies have pointed out that limited spots incentivizes people to carpool. Despite different parking dynamics across the country, it’s easy to agree that parking can be a major annoyance, and probably likely one we’ll have to suck up and deal with.

We’d say it’s a small price to pay for the freedom and independence of getting your car and getting where you’re going.

Stop by Nissan of Lake Charles if you’re looking for a car for yourself. We can at least guarantee free parking during your visit.

What do you think? Should parking be free for everyone in your city?