Wow, and one is a Tea Party Activist, too. Sigh – The merchant quoted in this article says that paid parking is a tax. So naturally he is against another tax. “Why should people have to pay a tax to come to my store?”
OK, I get it – It cost nothing to pave, light, clean, secure, and landscape those parking lots. It costs nothing to provide wider streets, marking, enforcement, signage, and the like for on street spaces. So therefore parking should be free. Oh, please, that train has left the station.
Parking is a commodity, and it is limited. We need some way to allocate parking. We also need a way to ensure that there is turnover in areas where merchants need it. We need to protect and nurture this resource. What better way than to charge the people who use it.
If I got to a merchant’s shop on foot, or take the bus, or ride my bike, or am carried in a sedan chair, why should I pay to provide parking for the cars that are on the street in front? If we don’t charge em, someone is going to have to pay for all the things I listed above.
You know that I probably have a soft place in my heart for Tea Partiers, but this guy can’t see all the way to the end of his argument. You can’t have services without paying for them. We have proven that borrowing can’t cover the loss. We have to reduce services if we want to reduce taxes, or we have to charge for those services.
Remember the guy whose house burned down because the fire department didn’t respond because he refused to pay his fire charge? How horrified we all were. But think it through. Taxes are charges that we pay so that we can have services. We pay for Fire, Police, Libraries, Schools, and the like. Fortunately, parking is one of those fees that we can aim, like a laser beam, at the people that use the facilities. If you don’t drive, or don’t want to park, then don’t pay. Simple.
The Mayor of Ventura has the right idea. In the first couple of months, charging was bumpy, but things have calmed down and through the holiday season, he got no complaints. Stay the course, your honor, your city will thank you for it….
And all that money that is going to upgrade downtown, be sure everyone know about it, what it’s doing. Put a plaque on every tree, park bench and new light standard – “This was brought to your by the folks who paid to park in Downtown Ventura.”