Wednesday, 21 June 2006

Parking as a constrained resource optimisation

London has a problem. There are too many cars. This has several consequences. Firstly it is difficult to get anywhere fast, at least between 6.30 and 21.00. Secondly, it is hard to park, and often expensive when you can. The problem has been managed partly through charging and partly through rationning. Nevertheless, some people feel that driving in the centre of a large city and parking once you arrive at your desination are basic human rights. See this intemperate rant in the Guardian, for instance.

Look, folks, it's simple. You can't set up this game with all the people, all the cars, and everyone doing what they want for nothing. What you do is political, of course, but the basic premise can't be that everyone will be happy. There just aren't enough roads or parking places for that. And creating them, even if this were viewed as a good idea, is infeasibly expensive. So get used to the idea that parking is not your right and start obeying the law: then we might actually
make some progress with our transport policy. Remember, this will never be a picture of London:

However, as the Transport select committee points out,
there are some steps which could make this game easier to play. A national set of standards would at least remove the irritations of different rules council by council. But how this for a standard: `if you park illegally, for whatever reason, whereever, we take away your car'? That might finally stop the SUV driving idiots who think it is acceptable to block a street just so they can pop into the shops or pick their kids up from school.


Blogger dronbyfoto said...

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11:48 pm  

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