You can tell when the holidays are just around the corner. There’s a chill in the air, decorations are in the stores, and politicians are lobbying for “free” parking. The headline says it all. “Politicians Urge Mayor Bloomberg to Turn Parking Meters Off for the Holidays” Read about it here.
Wow!! Everything we know about paying for parking, the fact that it actually creates more parking space for customers, the fact that it provides turnover, the fact that it keeps employees from taking parking spaces, and the fact that making parking free for 90 minutes would probably be unenforceable anyway all tell us that this is a bad idea.
The Christmas season is a time when people shop, they are forced to shop. There is no choice. They will park, pay their fees, and then go about their business buying “stuff” for their families and friends. It’s what the commercial side of the holiday is all about. Charging for parking, particularly when you have been charging for parking for years, will not stop the Christmas hoard.
I have been seeing quite a few stories like this. Some get even better. They see it as a “Christmas gift” to the citizens. Right – Provide “free” parking and lower the number of available spaces so people who want to shop cannot find a place. Great gift. Particularly for the merchants.