The High Cost of Free Parking

One of my favorite podcast episodes from the last couple years is Freakonomics' Parking is Hell:

The episode is inspired by Donald Shoup's 800-page book, The High Cost of Free Parking. I haven't read the book, but the episode is eye-opening, as it forces you to think about the huge opportunity costs of the choices we've made over the past several decades in terms of land use and transportation. 

In a nutshell: we have far more parking spots in this country than we could ever possibly need; the parking spots are occupying valuable tracts of land that could be better used for something else; the costs for developers to build enough parking to meet local ordinances drive up prices for almost everything we do; and in urban areas, parking is absurdly under-priced, especially at peak times, leading to congestion and pollution issues.