As Usual, Editorial Misses the Parking Point

The Los Angeles Daily News takes off on charging for on street parking. To wit:

Few motorists would argue against removing parking meters from any street. True, they bring in revenue for local cities, but they also discourage tourism, annoy potential customers of local business and cause stress for people who can’t seem to find enough coins in the glove box.

The editorial goes on to describe how the city of Long Beach has attracted tourists and I guess everyone else by removing charges from some of its convenient off street lots. Sounds like Long Beach has some good ideas, but they didn’t remove charges from on street.

The Daily News wants to remove charges from on street parking in some areas of San Pedro and quotes a local councilman as saying the money collected is “Chump Change.”

Nowhere does the councilman, the newspaper, or anyone else seem to concern themselves with why the parking was charged for in the first place. Not a word about keeping space available for customers and away from workers in the area. Nothing about turnover. (Oh they want to set a two hour time limit, but no word on how that is to be enforced.)

This is typical of knee jerk reaction to public outcry about ‘free parking’ and the politicians reaction to it. We have done such a poor job as an industry to describe why parking charges are important, for reasons other than the local general fund.

Perhaps one of our parking organizations could begin a program to educate the public and the media on why parking needs to cost and how charging for parking makes our cities more livable. That this is not a money grab, but rather a way to more properly manage a parking resource.  But then, we would have to think that the information “mattered.”

JVH

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