First Ticket Free


First Ticket Free

The business people in Portsmouth, ME, have proposed that the first citation issued to parkers for parking violations in the downtown area be "free." IE, Its OK to break the law, but only the first time. What is this all about?  The city won’t do it, but the reason isn’t one that I find appealing — "It will cost $480,000."

Why can’t they simply say that they aren’t doing it because its "bad policy."

If they make a decision to do something then do it.  If they don’t want to write parking tickets then don’t.

The reason for putting a parking policy in place should primarily be to provide convenient, plentiful parking for people visiting the area.  That is best done by charging an appropriate amount for the parking.  No problem so far.  If the downtown area has plenty of parking, and if it is made available to the customers visiting the area, then they will come.

The concern that too many parkers are receiving tickets may be misplaced. If its in fact true, then maybe the regulations are onerous or the enforcement too aggressive.  A good PR program explaining the need for parking regulations, and the result of the regulations, would certainly help. Also, if the money generated by the program was plowed back in to the area from wince it came, my guess is that
1. The complaints would stop immediately
2.  The area would become more attractive and more people would visit
3. The merchants would become more successful

And all would be right with the world. — Funny how proper parking policy can solve all the world’s problems.


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John Van Horn

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