Charge for Parking, Cut the Crime Rate


Charge for Parking, Cut the Crime Rate

San Jose has always had free parking downtown. Now they are considering charging for parking, get this, after 10 PM in their structures. Read all about it here.

Yep, they are going to charge $5 to park after 10 PM. Thursday thru Saturday.The Reason — there is a group of people (probably young people) who are partying in the garages after hours, drinking, and throwing bottles. It is thought that the $5 charge will deter them from coming in the facilities and the problem will go away.

HUH?  First an obvious technical problem — how do you enforce it.  You have to charge on exit, since parking is free from 5 to 10 pm. If I arrive at say 6 PM and leave at 11, I should pay a $5 charge. However, if I arrive at 5 and leave at 9:55 I park for free.  What happens if I arrive at 6 on one evening and then leave at 6 the next evening?  How does the money get collected.  So its pay on exit.

How is paying on exit going to stop the kids?  They already cause mayhem. So why won’t they just come on in, do their thing, then drive out and not pay. If they are drinking and throwing bottles and rioting, what’s to keep them from just driving to the exit gate, breaking it off, flipping the bird to the attendant and leaving. They have no respect for authority or the law, what’s a $5 parking fee.

Now you know that I believe that parking should not be free.  According to the article there are not enough parking spaces in downtown San Jose in the evenings.  That’s probably because on street parking is free and the employees of clubs and restaurants park there and take up all the spaces. Obviously there’s a lot of space in the garages of the gangs wouldn’t have room to carouse and cause mayhem.  Solution — charge for parking on street, people will then move into the garages, and they will become active and there will be no large "barn like" areas where the problems can occur.

Of course, if there was a minimal charge all the time for garage parking, but substantially lower than on street, that would  begin to deter people from entering the garage that wanted to do more than simply park.

Of course, the police could do their jobs and arrest these animals and put em in jail and get them out of civilized society. It sounds to me like they have the cops in San Jose a bit buffaloed.  They need to rethink their entire parking pricing policy AND enforce their public drunkenness laws with consistency and strength. A few days in the slammer would probably cause much of the problem to go away.  I got the idea that people were "cited" and released. Sounds like the problem is way past a citation.


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John Van Horn

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