Free Parking at Christmas — Bah Humbug!


Free Parking at Christmas — Bah Humbug!

Its starting — city governments think they are helping merchants and being ‘nice’ by giving free parking on streets in shopping areas. The problem is exactly the opposite of what they want to happen, happens.

One of the reasons that we charge for parking is to provide turnover. That is, so that folks who work in the area won’t park there all day and take prime spaces from shoppers. Right? Well if you take away the charges during the busiest times of the year, wouldn’t those same employees in the area simply park on street and take those spaces, driving parkers to the big box stores on the edge of town?

Politicians love to give things away. Why not give away parking?  Not a good idea.  To free parking at Christmas I say Bah Humbug!


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

2 Responses

  1. I hear you JVH…..Though we don’t give away free parking we do give out “Courtesy Cards” instead of an expired meter violation. In years past there was no limit, and you can imagine the abuse we had. This year I was able to get everyone to agree to a limit of one per license plate for the entire program this year.

    My guess is that we see a 75% reduction in the number we give out!

  2. Our city’s approach has been to provide the ”free holida” (no-charge) parking at the metered spaces in the uptown area, but to retain the two-hour maximum parking time. Vehicles exceeding the two-hour limit can still be cited, although our experience is that most shoppers can finish their business within the two-hour maximum.The other significant factor is that the students from Miami University (that’s Ohio, not Florida!) have departed after final exams by this time and the demand on uptown parking is greatly reduced, thus most shoppers see the no-charge parking as a double benefit.

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