OSU parking privatization worse than you possibly could have imagined [Yay Bikes!]

I have been naive about the proposal to privatize parking at OSU. Until today I was thinking, “OK, well that probably sucks for all sorts of reasons, but at least it will raise parking rates and that could make people less inclined to drive to campus.” Indeed, parking fees under the plan would be raised at least 7.5% each year for the next 10 years—which is good for people like me who would prefer that the cost of driving is high enough to discourage it. But then I talked to an OSU employee who told me a choice tidbit from the contract currently being developed. And yes, it is worse than you possibly could have imagined for efforts to promote active transportation on campus.

The crux of it is this: Under the new contract, any action the university takes that could reduce the demand for parking spaces would constitute a “compensation event” that requires them to compensate the parking company for their lost revenue.

[Let that sink in for a minute...]