Chamber of Commerce begins Anti-parking charge campaign


Chamber of Commerce begins Anti-parking charge campaign

Wow – do these folks have the wrong note. As Mark Says, stupid is as stupid does.

In Saratoga Springs, NY, the local merchants led by the chamber of commerce have begun a fight against charging for parking downtown. I don’t mean a skirmish, I mean they have declared all out war.

The Posters read:

Remember Me?

I’m the Parking Meter that

Destroyed Downtowns

Across the Nation. Now

I’m coming soon to

Downtown Saratoga.


Of course this is absurd. It seems that neither side knows what they are talking about. Parking meters have saved downtowns across the nation. They have ensured that parking was available for customers, created turnover when it was needed, ensured that employees didn’t take the best spots, and in many enlightened communities, have provided funding for urban renewal and easing of downtown blight.

My guess is that if the local council would tell the merchants that the money collected would be plowed back into the downtown in the form of new streets, lighting, clean up and the like, this poster would be out of store windows in a heartbeat. Instead, I’ll bet merchants will be complaining soon about the lack of parking in the downtown area and how its destroying their business.

But, there you go.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

3 Responses

  1. Did you see the RFP the City put out soliciting bids from parking management companies? No information whatsoever other than to state that the program needed to generate 1.3 million from the existing parking decks, lots and on-street meters. How did they come up with the 1.3 million? Well it happens to be the City’s budget shortfall. No sutudies conducted by professionals, no due dilligence, no contact with the community and best of all they gave parking operators TWO WEEKS TO RESPOND.
    From the local Saratoga Springs newspaper:
    “I was hoping they would give us input,” committee chairman and city Finance Commissioner Ken
    Ivins Jr. said. “This is not the solution I was looking for.” Five proposals from companies in New York, Connecticut, Ohio and Tennessee were officially received by the city last week. The submissions varied in scope and size from one file folder to a nearly 200-page book.
    At the start of the meeting, Ivins asked members to name and discuss their top two proposals.
    “All the applications are totally flawed,” said Harvey Fox, owner of n. Fox Jewelers on Broadway and
    representative of the Downtown Special Assessment District, as he made the motion to dismiss the
    proposals. “What has happened here is that a solution has been assumed without public input,” Wait said.
    A main point of concern among those opposed was the recent realization that an agreement with
    Saratoga County would prohibit revenue being collected from the parking structure at Woodlawn
    Avenue and Church Street from funding anything other than the maintenance of that structure.

  2. Parking meters have been around since the 30’s, and were prevalent in most downtowns by the late 40’s, early 50’s. The demise of most downtowns started in the mid to late 60’s, which coincided with the explosion of suburban malls, office parks and strip centers that offered acres of free parking. If you think about it the REAL destroyer of downtowns all across the nation was free parking, not parking meters.

  3. Is the issue about paying for parking or access to parking?
    They can be two different animals. Many shopping precincts in New Zealand have time restrictions, i.e. 60 – 120 minutes on free parking. The best of both worlds.
    Shoppers have reasonable access to parking and workers are discouraged from parking as they have to leave work move their cars.

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