I have been reviewing the Google and Yahoo stories to provide Joyce some copy to put up on the web site and I have noticed that there are hundreds of cities that are “giving” away free parking in downtown areas for the Christmas Season. I have also found that some airports are doing the same thing. I have a question…why?

It seems to me that these cities are doing exactly the opposite of what is needed to bring shoppers to the shopping areas. By removing parking charges and restrictions, they are providing free parking for all the shop workers and other area employees (particularly temporary ones brought in for the season). Those folks are taking up all the parking spaces and the shoppers, you know the ones with money, won’t have a place to park. They are also stopping turnover at a time it is needed most.

It just seems to me to be a political ploy to get merchants and shoppers on the side of the mayor or whomever, but the results will be exactly the opposite of what they want.

As for the airports. HUH? Your lots will be jammed for Christmas. They will be full for the first or second time all year. Why in the name of the creator would you want to give parking away free now? Are you giving the airlines the landing fees for free? How about a free Big Mac for every traveller? Hell, its Christmas – tell the airlines if they want to fly out of your airport, give every other person a free ticket? Why not take the money collected from parking and give it to a local charity? It would seem to me to be a better solution and folks would think you are really doing some good.

Bah Humbug

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John Van Horn

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