Yglesias

Parking and Barber Regulation, Together at Last

Here’s a little slice of life from Omaha (PDF) where city officials are evaluating a man’s plan to cut other people’s hair in exchange for money in a property he owns:

It looks like this story is going to have a happy ending and the man will get his permission, but for the millionth time this isn’t something that needs regulating. Land is a valuable commodity. And ability to park one’s car is also valuable. Property owners in any given area are perfectly capable of evaluating what portion of land should be dedicated to parking based on the market demand for parking relative to the demand for other uses of land. Mandating more parking than the market demands is bad for the environment, bad for economic growth, and constitutes a regressive transfer from poor to the non-poor. I was very glad to see one New York Times column dedicated to this issue in 2010 and in 2011 I’m looking forward to hounding the mass media into paying more attention than that.