The town of Harve de Grace, Maryland, has a problem. They thought they didn’t have enough parking. So they hired a consultant and guess what. They have plenty of parking. Read all about it here. Before you read any further, take a moment, reflect on downtown parking, and see if you can deduce what the problem is. Tick tock Tick tock.
OK, I will let you know that you are right. Yep – people who worked downtown were taking all the short term on street spaces and customers had no place to park. There are already rules in place that say you can only stay a limited amount of time in on street spaces but they really weren’t being enforced.
The consultant gently told the city that they understood that enforcement was a problem, but to fix their parking issue, enforce they must.
Parking enforcement is difficult at best – but when you are enforcing a time limit and it involves chalking either electronic or manual, it becomes more and more difficult. However if you charge for parking, and have a trusty meter there to tell the officer that a person is over time, things can become much more clear.
Plus the money could be used to pay for the enforcement and any leftover could go to that new sidewalk or street lights or whatever other project the locals may have in mind. If they are not enforcing now, my guess that adding fees plus enforcement is a nonstarter.
Can’t someone write a letter to all cities in the US and have the heading say:
YOU PROBABLY HAVE MORE PARKING THAN YOU THINK. LOCAL WORKERS ARE TAKING THE SPACE THAT COULD BE USED FOR CUSTOMERS AND VISITORS. THERE ARE A BUNCH OF WAYS TO FIX IT, SEE THIS LETTER FOR A LIST.
My guess is few would read it and fewer still would believe it.