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Articles by Josh Finn

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So what, exactly, do nuns drive? 

Don’t search for the punchline; it’s an important question raised by Governing Magazine‘s Alan Ehrenhalt in his recent, useful recap of Donald Shoup’s The High Cost of Free Parking:

How many parking spaces should a convent be legally required to provide? If you immediately answered “zero,” then you probably have some common sense. Parking at a convent shouldn’t be a zoning question.

Shoup condemns zoning laws that require businesses to provide free parking without much regard to type of business and neighborhood. Ehrenhalt notes in his article the appropriately large fuss Shoup makes about a pesky little document published decades ago by the Institute of Transportation Engineers called “Parking Generation,” which zoning officials still frequently use to guide city policy. It recommends that businesses — from convents to taxi stands (!) — maintain enough free parking spaces that “virtually every driver will be able to find one virtually all the time.”

Unfortunately, as Shoup points out, this document is frequently misused because... Read more