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Abstract: In 2006 planners in the City and County of San Francisco were promoting an overhaul of the city's parking policy that they claimed would correct unfair and unwise subsidies for automobile users. The effort was designed to allow market forces to play a greater role in determining parking costs by, among other things, raising the price of residential on-street parking in neighborhoods where it was scarce, and raising parking meter rates on downtown streets, and amending zoning provisions that specified the minimum numbers of off-street parking spaces that developers of new residential and commercial projects had to provide.
Learning Objective: The parking reform proposals are controversial and can be used to support a discussion of the nature of economic efficiency and the possibilities for making efficiency-minded reforms politically acceptable.