Paper presented at the 22nd Annual Southern African Transport Conference 14 - 16 July 2003 "National issues affecting the movement of people and goods - strategic approaches", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa. ABSTRACT: The relationship between urban activities and movement has owed its changing character to policies relating to the supply and pricing of road space and parking. In metropolitan cities, in an era when rival municipal administrations vied to attract retail, commercial and industrial activities to
strengthen their income base, parking tended to be supplied free of charge or at relatively low cost.
This helped to accelerate the decentralisation of cities and the dispersal of activities. While
decentralisation may have reduced the tidal flow of road traffic in urban areas, it has generally created a demand for additional road space and has increased congestion and weakened public transport. It has resulted in significant problems associated with exhaust emissions, adversely affecting air quality over cities.
Since 2000, the creation of unicity administrations in the six metropolitan areas of South Africa has created an opportunity for more rational parking policies to evolve, which could impose more realistic car commuting charges and indirectly support public transport.
Apart from parking charges, other mechanisms may be considered to improve road management and use and to attract commuters towards public transport. Gautrain, between Johannesburg and
Pretoria, for example, will rely on road tolls to act as a deterrent to private car use in the train corridor, thereby making public transport a more viable alternative. Tolls and levies need to be applied comprehensively and systematically to avoid unforeseen distortions of the urban activity
and movement systems.
The paper examines international experience in applying parking and other pricing policies to influence the relationship between urban activities and travel movement. It also examines recent
research in South Africa which evaluates the sensitivity of car travellers to increases in parking
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