I have always wondered at the efficacy of providing "free" parking during the holidays. It seems to me if there ever was a time to charge, around the holiday’s is it.
Unlike other times of year, people are going to park anyway. There is no doubt about it. Why give it away free? But more importantly, it seems to me that the time to use the free market to control the availability of space is when it is most demand.
People come to shop and need parking space. Why not ensure that the space is available by charging market rates. What will happen is that folks will say "Parking is FREE" and the spaces will be jammed.
Oh, but Seattle has rules for its "Free" parking…
Only on Fridays and Saturdays from Nov. 24 through Dec. 22. Only in the Public Market Parking Garage (1531 Western Ave.) next to Two Angels Antiques. Only if you show $30 in receipts from Market merchants at the validation tent near "Rachel" the pig between noon and 4 p.m.
Note that the day after Thanksgiving is not included. Receipts must
be from the same day you park. And it’s one pass per person per day.
If the rules are that complicated, what have the free parking at all. Folks will be confused, and you entire parking program is at risk of loosing its effectiveness.