The problem of parking is so pressing that on an average a motorist spends around 30 to 45 minutes in search of a parking space and the cost of parking the vehicle is a whole separate problem. The expensive rates of parking are simply not sustainable, especially in these US cities.
Most Expensive Cities in The US For Parking
1. New York
When it comes to parking rates, the most densely populated city of the United States, New York City tops the charts, especially Midtown Manhattan. The thumb rule regarding driving around Manhattan is to avoid driving as far as possible. Because, there are only two kinds of people in Midtown Manhattan, those who are utterly burned out by public transportation and those who are sinking below the weight of parking rates of hundreds of dollars spent in parking their precious vehicles. The information collected as per the smartphone application, Spothero has revealed that the highest monthly parking rates are found in some of Manhattan’s swankiest neighborhoods – 385 W 15th Street in South Chelsea with an average monthly parking rate of $1000, 99 Jane Street with the same whopping $1000, and 150 Charles Street with $950. According to extensive research conducted by Parkopedia where data from more than 650 parking facilities that covered 300,000 parking spots was used revealed that the lower limit for daily parking rates in New York City is a shocking $15 and the same can be as high as $50 in some parts of the city! The median hourly rates of parking in New York City start at $27. Moreover, when it comes to unreserved parking (parking in a guaranteed yet not a dedicated parking spot), the city leads the way with an average of $616! Only in the reserved parking department (parking in a guaranteed and dedicated parking space) was the city overtaken by Washington DC.
Immediately behind Manhattan is the city of Boston, with the city dwellers paying an average of $34 for daily parking and $438 for monthly parking. Moreover, what’s even worse is that as of 2019, Mayor Marty Walsh has proposed as part of the city’s 2020 budget that parking costs may rise even higher where the minimum fee for average curb parking is expected to go from $1.25 per hour to $2 per hour.
3. San Francisco
The situation isn’t any better in the city of San Francisco where parking averages for $26 a day and around $375 a month. Locals blame the high costs of parking to the unavailability of adequate parking spaces as well as the ‘Transit First’ policy of the city which makes the transit of goods and people (walking, biking, etc.) a priority instead of private automobiles.
Also Read: 10 Most Progressive Smart Cities in the USA
The average of $26 a day is the same for the city of Philadelphia while the monthly average ranges from $294 to $304. Despite having around 2.1 million parking spaces, commuters still find themselves circling around the block in search of a vacant spot. This is mainly due to the mismanagement of these spots. Moreover, most of Philadelphia’s parking spaces are located in the most expensive areas. No wonder, parking in the city is often described as an “emotional powder keg”.
Even a Pacific life in Honolulu is not an easy one in terms of parking where drivers pay an average of $42 a day though, however, the monthly rates drop to $217. The main reason for this turnaround is the heavy costs of constructing individual parking stalls, which can range anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000. And this does not include the cost of the land itself. Underground parking is especially expensive due to the city’s shallow water-tables requiring builders to build vertically.
6. Washington D.C.
The average monthly parking rates in the national capital were found to be between $225 and $270. The city has some of the highest hourly parking rates – a whopping $11! Off-street parking is way more expensive than metered spaces (@$2.50 per hour). The city’s street parking is the most frustrating with confusing zone-specific rules and regulations.
The parking situation in Minneapolis is gradually getting worse and this is clearly evident from the rising rates of parking. The city has an average hourly parking rate of $10 and an average daily parking rate of $23. There are some places downtown where you would have to pay as high as $40 to park for a day!
The city of Seattle also makes it in the list where the average rates for monthly parking range between $125 and $350. The average daily parking rate is around $17 whereas the hourly parking rate in some areas such as the Seattle Waterfront can go as high as $3.
9. Los Angeles
And when it comes to the city of Los Angeles, one might want to commit to any parking garage after doing proper research as the city’s monthly parking averages at the rate of $200 while the daily parking rates range between $9 and $15. Parking in LA has been described as “the lowest circle of Hell”. Well, those are ironic words to describe the “City of Angels”. But, LA’s problem is a little different – there are too many parking spaces and the mismanagement of such spaces has led not only to traffic congestion issues but also parking problems.
The only joys of parking American drivers can derive is from the fact that parking rates in the United States are still nowhere close to those in cities like London ($1084), Zurich ($822), and Hong Kong ($745).
The high cost of free parking
And for those whispering, “At least there are still designated free parking spots” under their breath, there’s bad news – The cost of free parking must be covered and it does get covered from taxpayers, residents, and consumers with every transaction as explained by Daniel Shoup, an urban planning expert in his book, The High Cost of Free Parking. Free parking costs are covered from Medicare to national defense.
Well, what is more, tragic than the rising costs of parking is the fact that with every hike in parking rates, the struggle to find a relevant parking spot goes on declining with drivers driving around the block in circles in search of parking. How must modern cities deal with the problem? Only technology can offer a solution.