18 June 2013

Well, There Goes My Plan to Shop the Macy's Going-Out-of-Business Sale

Seriously, can the City possibly do anything ever to make it MORE likely that a person will want to come Downtown?  And I am a fan and resident of our fair city.

Story from STLToday.  Title of my post I gleeped from a commenter there.  Some of my own comments I add in green:

Downtown parking violations will be enforced on Saturdays

City Treasurer Tishaura Jones announced on Tuesday that parking violations in downtown St. Louis will start being enforced on Saturdays.  

Starting on July 1, Jones said that downtown motorists will be required to pay for using parking meters on Saturdays from 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.  Expired meters downtown had previously gone unenforced.  To help ease the change, during the first two weekends of July violators will only issued warnings.  

The move will be a big change for many downtown visitors, especially those attending Cardinal games at Busch Stadium during the day.  Parking meters typically have a two hour limit. 

"I am not going to leave the game, even if I could get a stamp to re-enter, to walk to a meter to deposit more money," said Pat Tuhill, a St. Louis resident.  

Tuhill said meters should provide adequate time to attend a downtown event, such as a four hour baseball game.

Jones said there will be no exemptions "unless a game is after seven o'clock." 

Although, Jones said she is working with a company to allow event rates at meters.  

"That's our goal, but that's down the road," Jones said. 


Jones said downtown is currently the only area in the city without Saturday enforcement.  

The city's parking commission voted unanimously to change the policy in May.

"This change in policy is necessary in order to apply consistent enforcement policies across the city," Jones said in a statement. 

In an interview, Jones said the change was solely to apply a consistent policy city-wide.  She said the old Saturday policy allowed for free parking for the first two hours, but she said it was almost impossible to enforce.   

However, consistent enforcement could be had if all meters in the city were exempt on Saturdays regardless of time, and regardless of neighborhood, so let's skip the term "necessary".

Parking meter violations will continue to be exempt on Sundays.  

The standard fine for parking at an expired meter is $10.  Which is the cost of the least expensive, and least convenient, parking lot for any Cardinals game.  Therefore, check back this time next year and let me know if the fine is $25 or more...

Jones said the change was not a financial decision.  She predicted the additional money intake "will be minimal."  That is a tad hard to believe, yet may unintentionally be true, as the parking enforcement division has in the past lost money -- i.e., more money was used to pay the enforcers and other staff than that which actually came in from meters and fines.  Regardless, there certainly is a negative financial component in discouraging people from visiting Downtown.

Here is a different suggestion, if the City wishes to have a reason to pay patronage jobs in the form of parking enforcement: publicize full-time free parking all Downton street spots, and use the meter readers to patrol the streets to prevent parked-car break-ins.  Bet you it is a money-maker in the long run.


1 comment:

Methodist Jim said...

To answer your question simply . . . no.