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Short-term parking subject to a congestion levy, good

The tax on long-term parking spots in Melbourne is to be substantially increased but, more importantly, the levy is to be extended to short-term parking.  Since the levy is intended to be an anti-congestion device it was really more important to tackle short-term parking than long-term parking since many short-term journeys to a parking spot contribute more to congestion than one long-term journey.

Now, get even smarter on parking.  Utilise available applications that can be downloaded onto your mobile phone that shows where the vacant parking spots are in Melbourne (or any large congested city) to eliminate all congestion related to searching for a parking spot.   Allow people to park wherever they want (provided it is a legal parking spot) for as long as they want provided they pay the market-clearing parking charge.  Make charges payable (and extendable) from your mobile phone to reduce silly inconvenience costs on commuters. This means that in any street location, following the Donald Shoup rule, 15% of spots will remain vacant on average to allow movements in or out of spots.   Adjust the number of spots to keep traffic relatively uncontested.  Eliminate pricing diffferentials between on and off-street parking.

For various reasons parking charges are an imperfect substitute for congestion charges (they only cover traffic terminating at a destination, not through traffic) but they are much more politically acceptable than parking charges.  Once congestion charges are introduced the taxes on parking should be abolished but, again, parking charges should clear the market for parking and all time limits on parking should be abolished.

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