Space utilization

Thirty years ago, Fort Dodge, Iowa got rid of its parking meters. In July, the City Council voted to buy new meters, the first of which were installed this week.

While my own home town struggles with a new meter design, I suggest that they could learn something from the Fort Dodge experience, in which these four goals were clearly established:

  • The system must support itself. This includes any maintenance, upgrades or modifications to the system. If not, then the community’s taxpayers bear the burden to support it rather than the users of the system.
  • Generate turn-over in the parking stalls, providing the opportunity for customers to park as close as possible to a business.
  • The parking system must be cost-friendly to all users, including customers and employees, while still providing sufficient revenue to be cost-neutral.
  • The system must be designed so that it is enforceable.

Any system that doesn’t meet these criteria isn’t worth installing, in Iowa, in Oklahoma, or anywhere else.

(Via this RadishTheGreat tweet.)


  1. Charles Pergiel »

    3 September 2011 · 12:07 pm

    Fort Dodge! My favorite town in the whole Midwest! I’ll be sending numerous people to your site to see this wondrous story. Well, maybe one. If they aren’t busy.

  2. CGHill »

    3 September 2011 · 12:27 pm

    We are, of course, grateful for any readers we can ensnare attract.

RSS feed for comments on this post