Dear Assemblymember Portantino,
I would like to urge you to support AB 1186, an effort to enhance the transparency of parking costs for easing the enforcement of California’s parking cash-out legislation. This bill has been introduced by Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield (District 40), and is due for a hearing in the Assembly Transportation Committee on May 11th. The cost of parking is enormous, generally hidden, and heavily subsidized, producing significant distortions in the transportation choices made by Californians. Making the price of parking transparent, and enabling those who choose not to drive to recoup those costs, removing the hidden subsidies, is in the best interest of business, transit authorities, the citizens, and California in general. For instance, at my own institution in Pasadena, the California Institute of Technology, we are forced by city regulations to provide what would constitute a vast oversupply of parking were employees and students required to pay the true price of providing those spaces, wasting $3 million each year (approximately $1000 per person on the campus), that could be better spent on our core scientific research and education mission. While this bill unfortunately would not directly address this waste, it is a step in the right direction, and I strongly encourage you to consider other such steps.