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Cars spend an average of over 90% of their time parked – so introduce organization and efficiency to your parking.

Creating an Creating a parking program

As quoted by parking guru Donald Shoup, philosopher Karl Popper once observed, “One has only to observe a flustered driver, desperately trying to park his car when there is no parking to be found, in order to see that we do not always act in accordance with the rationality principle.” We typically take he rationality of parking arrangements for granted – at least, until we get ticketed - but private lot owners are increasingly turning to fees to keep costs down, out of both fairness and transparency.

Even though “free” parking is typically paid for by property owners, the cost is usually passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices. Property owners often have parking minimums that they have to meet, too – so if private businesses are going to make up for their parking requirements, they have to charge more for their services, but everyone gets charged more – not just people with cars.

Parking permits go a long way toward putting private lots back into balance and helping to ensure that only people who use parking end up paying for it. Although companies usually hire well-trained (and well-paid) consultants to help with their parking plans, it’s always possible to formulate a plan of your own, provided you think through what your business’s needs and capabilities are.

Some questions you will need to ask yourself before speaking with a lawyer or urban planning professional:
Do I need to provide for public access? What percentage of my lot needs to be dedicated to employees? Do I expect to grow? Growth can affect your expectations for how many employee spots you need to reserve.
Do I have security concerns – should I fence my lots or leave them open-access?
If I intend to charge for parking on my lot, at what price will people simply opt out and park someplace else, depriving me of income?
What service do my "customers" perceive in exchange for their money – are they guaranteed a spot? Are there low-cost ways to provide supervision or additional safety measures in my lot?
What measures am I prepared to implement for people who break the rules in my lot? What's legal in my state and munipality?
What information do I need to have available on my permits – do I want drivers to renew their permits every year? Every quarter? Every month?
How will I account for temporary passes and ensure that no one takes advantage of it to avoid paying fees or following the lot's rules?
Do some drivers need to have quicker access to some areas of my property, and if so, should I divide my lot into areas, issuing color-coded permits by the area?
How can I ensure that any punitive measures I put in place (like towing and violation stickers) happen as rarely as possible?
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