Raynell Cooper

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Raynell Cooper and I manage residential parking policy for SFMTA here in beautiful San Francisco, California. I oversee programmatic changes regarding our Residential Parking Permit (RPP) program.

How did you discover parking reform?

In graduate school, I had a professor, Dr. Hiroyuki Iseki, who had worked with Donald Shoup at UCLA and was passionate about parking’s role not just in the transportation realm, but also land use and planning generally. In particular, I learned about the role of pricing parking and the pernicious nature of parking minima. Thanks to that passion and interest, I was able to talk about parking well enough in an interview with SFMTA and that’s how I ended up here!

What is the most important issue to you that parking has an impact on?

As a young millennial, I am often thinking about my own future and how our planet will look when I’m older and when the generations after me come. We can’t stem the tide of global warming without reducing vehicle miles traveled, and we can’t do that without doing something about parking. 

What’s a parking question you wish there was a study or research paper about?

There’s been some scholarship about using auctions to price college lots, but as far as I know the effect of pricing on-street residential parking on car ownership is deeply under-studied, in large part because so few cities have attempted to price on-street residential parking above and beyond the cost of administering the program. 

Biggest problem in parking that technology could solve?

A cheap and easy way to measure occupancy and enforce on-street meters and time limits.