Boston’s Mayor pandered to the masses with this pronouncement:
Mayor Menino Declares “We Love You, Boston”
Free Parking for Valentine’s Day
Mayor Thomas M. Menino today announced shoppers and diners will enjoy free parking at all City of Boston parking meters on Valentine’s Day, as local businesses and all of you romantics make up for lost time during the weekend storm.
“Whether you’re showering yourself, a friend or a special someone with love this Valentine’s Day, we want to make it as easy as possible for residents and visitors to spend some time and money at Boston businesses and restaurants tomorrow,” Mayor Menino said. “Get out there and share the love!”
Reader Mark sees this as another city “not getting it.”
Why do we charge for on street parking — If we go back to the beginning in Oklahoma City. it was simple. The merchants wanted turnover. and by installing parking meters, they got it. So on a day when those same merchants are looking for turnover and parking spaces for customers, the brainiacs in local government remove the very thing that provides available parking.
In his pronouncement, hizzoner tells his constituents to “Get out there and share the love.” Think about it. Will one person who is not going to do something on Valentine’s Day change their mind and drop a couple of hundred bucks on flowers and dinner because parking is free? I don’t think so.
People who go out will certainly be happy to discover that their parking is comped. And the Mayor will get a few extra votes in the next election. But its hard to imagine that this little feat will make any difference in business revenue. Oh there is one thing: employees will now be able to park near work and not have to run out every couple of hours and move their cars.