Charlie points out that merchants want free parking and use almost any reason to justify it. Here’s an article in a Canadian publication. The article makes some good points, but loses a tad credibility with this quote:
With the London Downtown Business Association leading the charge, the city moved to offer free metered street parking downtown during December several years ago. Usher said downtown businesses saw a “noticeable boost” every December.
Well, duh – could a small holiday where people gives gifts in December have anything to do with the ‘boost.’ I wonder if anyone compared the Decembers with paid parking vs the Decembers with “free” parking.
Of the concern that with free parking local employees will take the spaces, one merchant commented:
That’s not a huge concern for Usher, who said most retailers have a good handle on their staff and respect that the parking is for customers.
I love the line “there is no such thing as ‘free’ parking.” Parking verite.