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The downtown parking syndrome: does curing the illness kill the patient?

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Abstract

Consumers and businesses alike cite the lack of free parking as one of the major problems associated with working, playing, and shopping downtown. A shortage of parking spaces can also lead to higher prices for those parking slots available as well as violation of parking ordinances by frustrated citizens. In light of widespread concerns about parking downtown, should large cities adopt policies to encourage more parking in a central business district (CBD), or should they improve public transit as an alternative to driving? Cities must consider many factors before answering such questions. Effective parking policies must strike a balance between convenient parking and maintenance of the dense urban fabric that makes the CBD unique

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