Didn’t anyone do the numbers?


Didn’t anyone do the numbers?

Or as correspondent Mark says “What were they thinking?”

The city of Del Mar in Southern California is selling a “parking permit” that will allow people to park for an unlimited time in the city’s parking meters. It will cost $700 a year. That’s $58 a month. The average cost for a meter is $3 an hour. It will also double the time you can park in unmetered spaces.

So I work at a local shop – For $14.50 a week, I can get a permit to park my car right in front of the shop, for as long as I want. That’s only problem one.

People who will use this permit are most likely those who park a lot in the downtown area (and spend a lot for parking) – salespeople, tradesmen, repair persons, shop owners etc. If they park three hours a day, they would spend $9 a day for parking. Assuming they are downtown 3 days a week, they will spend $1400 a year for parking. The permit gives them a 50% discount. What’s with that? Who is going to come up with the shortfall in parking revenue? I know – let’s fire a couple enforcement officers. That should handle it.

Ok, let’s go with problem three, and perhaps the biggest one. Fraud. What will immediately spring up in Del Mar will be a black market in these permits (they are hangtags, like the ones used for handicapped parking.). What is to keep a local entrepreneur with a good Xerox machine from going into business for him (or her) self and selling permits for what, $300.

The city bills this as its “contribution to the economic stimulus plan.” Let’s see – they are going to reduce the number of available parking spaces in the business area, forcing folks to search for parking and/or shop somewhere else, increase the amount of congestion in the downtown area (crusier’s searching for parking), set up a black market in parking in the city, do away with any flexibility they had with setting rates to affect occupancy and thus usage, and reduce the amount of income coming into the city, at least from a somewhat legitimate source…well you get the idea.

Yep – this should really stimulate the economy in downtown Del Mar.



John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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