Coincidence? Most Expensive Cities for Parking All Suspiciously Awesome

Is parking expensive because a city is attractive? Or is a city attractive because it has expensive parking? Whether cause or effect, there seems to be a clear correlation.

Parking in San Francisco will set you back $26 a day, but it's a relative bargain compared to international counterparts. Photo: San Francisco Examiner

A new study featured in AOL’s Daily Finance has ranked the ten most expensive U.S. cities to store a car (off the street). And wouldn’t you know it, they’re all the sort of places you might want to visit.

In Seattle, Erica C. Barnett at Network blog PubliCola says despite the city’s relatively high rates, drivers are still getting a great deal — maybe too good:

According to a new survey of parking rates around the country, Seattle ranks sixth in the nation in parking rates, at an average of $24 a day, or $294 a month. That’s behind Midtown Manhattan ($41 a day, or more than $540 a month), downtown Manhattan ($533 a month), Boston ($34 a day, or $438 a month), Honolulu ($38 a day, or $217 a month), and San Francisco ($26 a day, or $375 a month).

The silver lining, DailyFinance.com reports: “Nowhere compares to London, where monthly parking costs a whopping $1,084, followed by Zurich at $822 and Hong Kong at $745.”

Parking, like driving, is heavily subsidized in the US. In 2002, according to Donald Shoup, author of The High Cost of Free Parking, the total subsidy for off-street parking alone was between $127 and $374 billion in 2002. Take that, parking whiners.

Elsewhere on the Network today: Xing Columbus analyzes the connection between walkability and a metric called “income density.” Mobilizing the Region reports that under Chris Christie, New Jersey environmental programs neglect the important role of transportation. And Bike Portland brings news that the Oregon Department of Transportation is planning to add an active transportation department.