The fall in demand for parking space is not limited to San Diego, according to the CEO of Ace. It is being replicated in the company’s 450+ parking facilities it manages, nationwide.
But much more is at stake than the revenues of the parking business – cities stand to benefit immensely as demand for parking drops. Parking spaces and lots generate relatively little tax revenue relative to commercial operations, and by increasing sprawl may actually harm the economy of cities like Los Angeles. Cities have begun — some, as far back as 2015 — relaxing zoning requirements that set minimum parking allotment.
Parking in the age of autonomous vehicles
The decline in the need for downtown parking will likely accelerate if “driverless” vehicles become a widespread reality. Using a car that can let passengers off and park itself outside the urban core could disrupt the entire method of parking planning used by cities today. And like almost everything related to innovation, that will likely be good for some (businesses that will no longer need to provide paring to customers or guests) and bad for others (owners of parking lots).
It is like the ironic English expression, “May you live in interesting times.” It’s ironic because it seems to be a blessing for good luck. But in reality, “interesting times” are not periods of peace and tranquility. “May you live in interesting times, ” actually means, “may you live in a time of disorder and conflict.”