However, this still gives a mis-leading picture. Actually, most car parking in Assen is free. That's true even just 500 m from the centre for drivers who are willing to walk a short distance.
High prices for parking or for using a car don't make people cycle. Rather, if cycling is an attractive enough option people will choose to do it. That's why Assen has a 41% cycling rate. People choose to cycle here because it's extremely pleasant and convenient. They are not made to do so under duress and certainly not because they are "punished" for driving by the high cost of parking.
|Free parking in Assen, 500 m from the|
city centre. It's never full.
(read an update about this car park)
Carrots work better than sticks.
Still free, or cheap
In another blog post which discussed how it's not necessary to alienate drivers with high parking fees in order to result in mass cycling, I included this photo.
Regular car commuters to the centre of Assen can hire a garage in the centre of Assen for just €28 per month. The reason why it is so cheap is that there is an over-supply of garages. This is not because there is an especially large number of parking places, but because demand is relatively light compared with cities in other countries.
The low price of parking in Assen and the relative emptiness of car parks is a demonstration of how successful the policy to increase cycling has been. Drivers benefit from more cycling.
At many other places in Assen, car parking is free of charge. That includes other shopping areas than the centre.