The Parking Tax

This piece on the costs of parking a car is mind boggling (boldface mine):

Owning a car is not cheap — and in addition to insurance, gas and parking fees, there is a hidden cost: time spent driving around while looking for parking costs D.C. drivers lots of time and hundreds of dollars annually.

In D.C., according to one report from transportation firm INRIX, the hunt for the perfect spot may cost each driver $1,367 a year.

D.C. drivers spend about 65 hours — more than two days — each year searching for parking. The study says 59 of those hours could be spent doing other things with better parking systems.

Overpaying for meters costs drivers another $350 a year.

New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco residents are the only people who spend more, leaving D.C. in fourth place.

Researchers calculated the the amount of wasted time, gas and even the cost of unnecessary pollution.

If we treat an ‘effective’ day as 16 hours (hopefully, you’re not driving while sleeping or going to the bathroom), that’s four days per years spent looking for a parking space. While the article focuses on technological fixes, one Neat Trick That Will Save You Days Of Your Life simple fix would be to not drive as much–or, depending on where you live in D.C., to not drive at all.

The parking costs alone also would equal about 80 – 100 round trips within D.C. by cab or Uber.

There are many places, including entities we call cities, where a car is absolutely necessary (I’ve lived in them!). But if you don’t need a car where you live, getting rid off it is a wonderful thing.

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One Response to The Parking Tax

  1. Kevskos says:

    In many ways the 3 years I spent car less in Philadelphia in the 80’s was bliss. So much more money to spend or at least have enough to pay rent.

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