Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Jive Shuts Down - A Rant Against Parking Meters

I was kind of saddened to read this. I was only in there once, last week, and the soup and coffee were awsome, and it seemed like a great atmosphere. It looks like they had some great Saturday sessions there as well. I made a note to hang out there more, although with a family, finding time to hang out at the artsy coffee house can be a bit difficult. But, they did have a good wireless network...that all said, when it came time to work remotely yesterday, I went up to the soulless Starbucks near the Mall. Why? Parking meters.

I was thinking of this as I pulled out of the Jive last week. I had spent 75 cents to park for an hour, and if I had got caught on a call and missed my expiration time, I'd be paying a few more dollars at City Hall. I got to thinking, how much business were these stupid parking meters costing downtown merchants? It's really time these relics were removed. I'm not sure how much money they generate for the city but they can't be worth it.

The parking meters were installed I'm assuming in the 50s, or sometime when people were going downtown no matter what, because that's all there was. If we want to revive downtown now, however, we've got to remove the parking meters. There are just too many other options with parking that is less of a pain in the butt. I would think we might be able to get merchants to agree to some extra tax or something to help cover the lost revenue for the city. The plan would be that the removal of the meters would increase the merchants' revenue more than the tax would cost them. Does anyone see the value of such a plan? Let's quit being so bass akwards in this city and move into the 21st century. Parking meters are a relic of a previous time!

I guess I could have caught the bus down to the Jive.



Anonymous said...

Yeah, they need to go. I mean, does the revenue from the meters even cover the cost of enforcing the meters? Not to mention the drag that is has on downtown business.

There have been many times when I might have lingered someplace--or visited another business--but instead had to run back to my car because the meter was running.

But let me ask: If you remove the meters, what's to prevent someone from squatting in that space indefinitely? Seems to need some kind of enforcement.

Ralph said...

You have a good point with the squatters. I'm not sure what the solution is. Something to do with having merchants validate parking, but that doesn't eliminate the cost of maintaining the meters...Would there really be that much problem with squatters. I guess the people that work downtown could be a problem, but if their employers were included in the downtown planning meetings, maybe something could be worked out. I guess my initial thought is that aside from Erie Insurance employees, who already have plenty of parking. Who are we worried about squatting?

Anonymous said...

I don't know their names, specifically, but they're out there, waiting to squat.