Agawam, MA is the home of Six Flags over New England. The amusement park charges $15 a day to park. Some of the enterprising local merchants charge $5-$10 a day and folks fill up their lots and walk to the park. Read about it here. So far so good.
However, the amusement park and some residents are complaining about the local merchant’s and their parking operation and the city council is trying to decide "what to do."
My position, nothing. Why shouldn’t an enterprising entrepreneur set up a parking operation. It’s some income, certainly people who park there walk by local merchants, and that must help sales, and it’s just good business.
But NO, says the city. We have rules, and land use requirements, and fines we can levy. And after all, Six Flags must pay a bundle in property taxes.
The merchants are raising hell with regulations, the amusement park is lobbying the mayor and the rest of the council, and this political hot potato isn’t going away.
Might I suggest something like this:
1. Issue permits to the merchants to allow parking on their land (charge so much per space per month).
2. Take the parking income and plow it back into the area providing better infrastructure, policing and all.
3. Tell the amusement park to compete in the free marketplace.
You see, allowing parking off site is actually a good thing as long as it doesn’t interfere with the business of running the community. And since the merchants themselves are running the parking, who can complain.
There are of course a couple of residents who are complaining about people stealing their flowers or picnicking on their front lawns. Well, with the revenue generated could perhaps pay for some little picnic areas (Complete with restrooms) around town for the visitors to use. Who knows, maybe they will buy food from the local stores, stay off Mazie’s front lawn, and all will be right with the world.
Or, the place could continue to be embroiled in a fight over who has the right to do what with their private property.