I think it may be time to resurrect the “Baghdad by the Bay” award. In this case for the City of Elmira, NY. The headline on the article says its all: No City Parking or No Ideal Parking? You can read the article here.
The city has a parking garage that is half full. It is located a block, that A BLOCK from the main drag. The article says people don’t use if because its inconvenient. Sigh. This issue goes to a number of thoughts:
1. My blog earlier that consultants are necessary to help politicians make a decision, since they can’t see the obvious without help.
2. My perennial story about the New York Times reporter who lived in LA and told me there was no parking on Melrose Avenue, a tony shopping area in the central city. I knew the area and told him that there were city lots in back of most every block. He said, yeah, but you have to pay there. His complaint was that there was no “free” parking.
3. I’ll bet that the spots on the main drag are taken with employees of the merchants in nearby stores. Instituting a good program of charging for spaces and strong enforcement would solve the problem instantly.
4. The city will spend the money, get a consultant’s advice (most likely very similar to mine in “3” above, and then, after merchants raise hell about charging, table the idea by discussing it to death over the next two years.
I will follow this one.