Tag Archives: Diane Rehm Show

The Sharing Economy and Consumer Protection

(It has been a busy few weeks and I haven’t had much time for blogging).

In early December, my colleagues Chris Koopman, Adam Thierer, and I published a piece on the sharing economy and consumer protection regulation. Here is a summary.

A few days later, I was on the Diane Rehm Show talking about the sharing economy with Alvaro Bedoya (@alvarombedoya) and Nancy Scola (@nancyscola). Alvaro is the executive director of the Center on Privacy and Technology at Georgetown University Law School and Nancy is a reporter covering the intersections of technology and public policy, politics, and governance for The Washington Post.

During the course of our conversation, Diane also spoke with Sunil Paul, the co-founder and CEO of Sidecar and with Donna Blythe-Shaw, the spokesperson for the Boston Taxi Drivers’ Association.

It was a great conversation and I very much enjoyed meeting Diane, Alvaro and Nancy.

You can listen to it here.

Also check out Adam’s comments on the sharing economy at a Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee here.

Parking Perspectives

In New York City, urban planners are considering new rules which would make it more difficult for developers to construct parking garages, the Wall Street Journal reports.  Currently, parking garages are prohibited if they are expected to increase congestion:

The current process requires developers to show that their garage won’t adversely affect traffic congestion in the immediate neighborhood. Some transportation advocates want the city to take a broader view when considering the issue of congestion, which could make it harder for developers to get permits.

Parking is a complex issue in planing regulation.  On the one hand, some urban critics argue that subsidized parking facilitates urban sprawl by allowing people to easily rely on cars for transportation without bearing the full cost of driving and parking.  On the other, privately-managed, unsubsidized parking garages offer a relatively efficient way for commuters to park in high-density areas while better internalizing the cost of this behavior.

As New York City may move toward limiting parking garages, others are celebrating their contributions to city life.  Baltimore author Shannon McDonald has recently written The Parking Garage: Design and Evolution of a Modern Form, exploring the architectural and utilitarian contributions of American garages.  She points out that in addition to serving the need for storing vehicles in high-density places, entrepreneurs have recently developed new uses for garage roofs including green roof parks, swimming pools, and solar energy plants.

On the Diane Rehm Show with McDonald, Robert Puentes of the Metropolitan Policy Project at the Brookings Institute points out the if municipalities broadened the role of the private sector in parking garage provisions, they could unleash incentives for entrepreneurs to improve the mix of uses of existing garages.