Or so claims Tyler Cowan at Marginal Revolution. He writes an economics column for the New York Times. In a recent post, he discussed free parking and who actually pays for it…everyone but the motorist.
If most parking were pay parking, people would think more carefully about where they were going. This is true for me, at least. If I am going into downtown Busan, I much prefer public transit.
Indeed, this is an area where Busan, and Korea in general, might be said to be ahead of the US. Or at least be seen as a location where the experiment is being carried out.
And the results are … mixed to negative. Well, one thing that is required with pay parking is an functioning and active police presence. In Korea, if you can’t find a parking space and will only take, oh, say, twenty minutes, most drivers opt to park in the bus lane or otherwise in the rightmost lane. Hey, it’s free! There are tow trucks to collect damaged cars but none to seize illegally parked cars to free up driving space.
I try to restrict my driving -and I’m not doing as well as I would like – and I usually use pay parking when I do drive.
I think increasing the percentage of pay parking spaces is wise but it is ineffective on it’s own.
Oh, if you are going into downtown Busan, the Busan English Library near Buam Subway Station has a great free parking area. I don’t know if they want you to use it, but it is usually empty. Check out a book and you’re fine.
To see videos of bad driving in Korea, visit Repatriate Me. I think everyone who drives will be familiar with the driving they see there.
UPDATED TWO DAYS LATER: