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Articles by Julie Caine

Julie Caine is a reporter/producer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. As KALW’s transportation reporter, she’s covered everything from high-speed rail to urban biking to the personality traits of freeways.

Featured Article

Parking-space requirements have reached their expiration date.

Photo by Shutterstock.

There’s a wonky academic theory that if you raise parking meter prices enough, eventually, there will always be one parking spot free on every block. It’s like park-topia, a place that glistens in the near future of urban planners’ imaginations. Well, San Francisco is trying it, and the prices are getting higher and higher without a “sweet spot” for some hot blocks. In some areas, you can now expect to pay as much as $5.25 an hour.

The strategy, called “dynamic pricing,” is something we’ve been keeping our eye on at Transportation Nation because, if it works, it could mean less traffic, faster (and maybe fewer) car rides into downtowns, and overall smarter transportation systems. The crux of the experiment relies on 1) real-time data about who is parking where and 2) the ability to change rates for different streets to ease congestion and spread the parking around.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority launched the pilot project in 2011, using data from parking meters to create an app that lets drivers see where the available spots are in some of the city’s densest n... Read more