The Neighborhood Parking Permits (NPP) program has created on-going headaches for neighborhoods, staff, and elected officials.
A great many parking problems neighborhoods experience can be much better solved by using what Donald Shoup calls “Parking Benefit Districts.” In such districts, parking is metered with hanging tags or in-vehicle meters and the revenue is used in the neighborhood where it is generated to provide neighborhood benefits such as landscaping or sidewalk repair (rather than funneling the revenue into the General Fund). Benefit districts would result in reducing many housing and development problems in Boulder by minimizing neighborhood opposition to development (caused by fear of spillover parking and too many cars). There would be less opposition to Accessory Dwelling Units, compact development, or increased occupancy limits. The City would also have less need to require developers to provide excessive amounts of off-street parking. Parking would become more convenient in neighborhoods and nonresident commuters would be paying for neighborhood improvements. NPP has worked well in a few Boulder neighborhoods, but going forward, Boulder should move toward Benefit Districts.