New York City street cleaning policy increases car usage for those without off-street parking

Duet of the Commons: The Impact of Street Cleaning on Car Usage in the New York City Area

From Journal of Planning Education and Research

Street cleaning is a common practice in many communities. Street cleaning encourages car usage for households without off-street parking and discourages car usage for households with off-street parking. The process requires that street parking be temporarily removed from the stock of available parking spaces, which affects parking and travel decisions. Local governments normally adopt three residential street parking policies, parking permit, time limits, and street cleaning. This article tests the impact of street cleaning on driving using a random sample of five hundred households in the New York City area. The policy implications of street cleaning in particular and residential street parking in general are discussed through the frameworks of property rights and social equity. The net effect is an increase of vehicle miles traveled by 7.1 percent, at least 27 percent of which is not a mere redistribution from non-street-cleaning days. The overall impact on weekly car usage is significant. These findings have direct implications on street parking policy in general and street cleaning operation in particular.

 

 

Abstract

This article explores the concept of “public commons” and its relationship with travel decisions under a unique setting: street cleaning in the New York City area. Using a natural experimental design, it investigates the impact of street cleaning on car usage for five hundred randomly selected households. Street cleaning encourages car usage for households without off-street parking and discourages car usage for households with off-street parking. The net effect is an increase of vehicle miles traveled by 7.1 percent, at least 27 percent of which is not a mere redistribution from non-street-cleaning days.

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Article details
Guo, Z., & Xu, P. (2012). Duet of the Commons: The Impact of Street Cleaning on Car Usage in the New York City Area Journal of Planning Education and Research DOI: 10.1177/0739456X12459360

     
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