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And then, even more misleadingly, it was then claimed to apply to a specific place again, like San Francisco. Parking saturation certainly causes traffic congestion (and other problems). Everyone is going vacation with various reasons in mind.
In 2006, on Prince Street in Soho (pdf) on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday afternoons/evenings, they found an average of 28% of intercepted motorists (at traffic lights) were looking for parking in the area. In 2007, in Park Slope, Brooklyn (pdf), they looked at four periods (weekday peak, two weekday moderate times, and weekend peak) and found overall 45% of traffic was cruising for parking. There really has been some fast and loose talk about the 30 percent thing. So I looked for some and found this: SFPark is San Francisco's Performance Pricing trial. Nevertheless, questioning a key SFPark claim makes good news copy.That is how I have always understood the talk about parking search traffic being a significant percentage of traffic.But these studies dating back to 1927 are mainly of historical interest.But again they highlight how extreme parking search traffic CAN BE. But no-one currently knows how much of San Francisco's congestion (or traffic) arises from cruising for parking. Donald Shoup's statement that parking search traffic was found in certain studies "to be on average 30% of congested downtown traffic" or my statement in a recent presentation, that parking search traffic is "often 30% or more" could easily become misleading if quoted beyond their original contexts discussing situations with badly mismanaged on-street parking.And with repeated mentions of that 30% figure, it seems to have morphed into a misleadingly precise and general claim about the percentage of overall traffic or congestion being due to parking search. It would be annoying if debunking the sloppy use of this 30% average undermines the important point that: This point is still valid and not undermined by the discussion above. Do your own little study in the context you are interested in. Much more than was widely realized before Donald Shoup came along.