If You Don’t Build It, They Will Take Another Route

What happened when Washington, DC built a new baseball stadium without “adequate” parking for all the fans to drive their cares to the game? Well, baseball fans decided to stay home take the Metro instead and everything is as it should be. No objection, of course, if entrepreneurs want to build parking facilities somewhere in the Navy Yard vicinity and charge people market rates to park there, but there’s a general lesson to be learned here.

When you mandate vast acres of un-priced or underpriced parking, that leads to lots of driving. But the space used up by all that parking is still a real resource — nothing comes “for free.” When you don’t make those mandates, the world doesn’t end and people don’t just spend eternity driving in circles looking for spaces. Instead, a combination of market-priced parking and alternatives to driving can meet people’s needs.