Baghdad by the Bay or Sarasota by the Gulf

From Mark:

Well, they got their “free” parking back.  Read the entire story here.

“………….free parking is what business owners along Main Street have fought for to help bring back customers…….The parking meters were designed to help pay for things like the city’s new parking garage. The city pays $9,000 each month in utilities and property insurance. It’s a bill taxpayers will have to pick up………Instead of meters, the city will bring back time-enforced parking……….new signs will go up in a few weeks, but with the city facing $4 million in budget cuts, Snyder says enforcement is questionable…….Parking enforcement will be the first looked at when it comes to employee layoffs . If merchants do not come up with the revenue, we cannot provide service…..Downtown customers want to make sure store employees do not park along Main Street. Merchants say they are working on a self-policing program where employees will park elsewhere.”

There are SO many money quotes in this one short article it’s impossible to pick just one, but this one pretty much sums it up; Very expensive lesson learned here,” says Sarasota City Commissioner Shannon Snyder.

What he fails to realize is that the expenses associated with this lesson haven’t even started yet, there’s much more to come.  They still have that “free” $23 million garage project to pay off.  Then there will also be the ongoing complaints from the merchants and customers about there being no parking available because they can’t afford to pay for the enforcement.  Of course this may be the ONE self-policing parking program in the world that works and all the employees really will park elsewhere (yeah, right).

They decided to throw out the program because of the complaints of a group of downtown merchants.  Wonder what they’re going to do when the rest of the citizens realize they are now on the hook to pay for the garage and the rest of the “free” parking for those merchants in this one area while at the same time probably see cuts to services like police and fire, parks and recreation, schools, etc?

Maybe you should re-name the award and call it “Sarasota by the Gulf”.

Mark Rimmer

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3 Responses to Baghdad by the Bay or Sarasota by the Gulf

  1. BW says:

    Parking enforcement puts an added police presence around town, which means either added security or the perception of it, to help curb crime and attract visitors to downtown.

    • Agata says:

      Parking enforcement puts an added pocile presence around town, which means either added security or the perception of it, to help curb crime and attract visitors to downtown.

  2. Richard Gardiner says:

    There is a famous crime prevention study conducted in Kansas City during the 1970′s that tested the actual crime prevention impact of police presence. In the study area police presence was applied in three different levels over the same extended period: normal patrolling; no patrolling; and reduced patrolling. There was no significant difference in the crime rates in any of the tests.

    Its the same thing with public surveillance cameras: in a public space where there are constant circulation of different people surveillance cameras have absolutely no effect at preventing crime. Their value is in helping to identify an offender after the commission of a crime. In closed environments such as schools and work places where the same people use the place would be offenders are influenced by surveillance cameras as long as everyone knows that they are actually being monitored. I have had some 40 years of professional experience in crime prevention through urban planning and environmental design plus have written a book on the subject, so I am really not BS’ing you.

    Richard Andrew Gardiner

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