Parking Manifesto as a broke Toronto goes into a civic election

  1. Street parking in Toronto is underpriced.
  2. Underpriced street parking:
    - generates congestion,

    - generates pollution
    - wastes citizen's and visitors time
    - harms the lower-income driver disproportionately
    - diminishes safety (of cyclists),
    - diminishes livability, and
    shifts the burden of funding the City from motorist to property tax payer.
  3. Toronto’s underpricing of street parking denies the City badly need revenues.
  4. The cost of parking operations has been estimated to me at about 70% of its income. This implies that if Toronto appreciates an annual net revenue of $125M as recently reported in the newspapers, that this could be increased to about 325M (est.) without increasing staff or purchasing additional equipment, but by a average doubling of on-street parking fees (assuming 1/2 of the revenue is of from street parking).
  5. In the event the City were to monetize its parking assets the estimate of 500M (recently made by a journalist based on 4 x net revenue) would undervalue the Toronto parking franchise by some 800M (using the same 4x assumption). This would represent a terrible loss of opportunity to our City, forcing a further, unnecessary increases in property taxes.
  6. Under monetization of Chicago's parking to a private company, that company raised on-street prices, extended its operating hours and extended some parking zones. If that happens here, it means that property tax payers are indirectly paying taxes to a private company.
  7. Toronto’s the use of one-hour free-parking and our police force to mark tires is an egregious waste of City money, when it is now possible to correctly managed priced parking anywhere in the City, including streets where paid (non-resident) parking turnover is too low to return investment in pay-and-display equipment.
  8. In the event Toronto parking assets are monetized, I ask that the City argues for a proper valuation (to reduce property taxes or avoid a further raise) and then permit the private operator to adjust prices appropriately, to recover its investment. In other words, I propose the City trust a private operator rather than Council to set market prices and rescue our city from its sea of circling cars looking for cheap parking.

    How Toronto’s parking pricing contributes to pollution and congestion, wastes time, and robs Toronto of desperately needed revenue.

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