Parking a God Given Right?


Parking a God Given Right?

From the Lawrence, KS, Journal:

……..The study found that 85 people have received one of the new $50 fines since enforcement began in March. Those 85 people, according to the city’s data, had received 6,657 parking tickets in the previous two years — that’s a rate of about 40 per year………..Despite the big numbers from a few, some city commissioners said they believe the city ought to consider changes to the habitual parking provision, which has riled up downtown employees………Changes up for discussion include only charging the $50 fine to people who have five or more unpaid parking tickets in the last 30 days. Currently, the ordinance calls for the higher fine for anybody who has five or more parking tickets in the last 30 days, regardless of whether they have paid the previous tickets………”I just wish we could come up with something that would encourage people to park in the long-term lots. It just seems like nobody in this town wants to use those long-term lots.” 

God Given Right?

Mark’s Comments:

Many people seem to look at parking as a God given right, but is it?  Driving is a privilege, one that you must “qualify” for and one that has some serious financial obligations associated with it.  Parking is nothing more than one facet of driving, so it should stand to reason that the same “rules” that apply to driving should also apply to parking.  Why is it that you can get multiple parking tickets and as long as you pay them there are no consequences, but multiple speeding tickets impact your insurance and could result in a loss of your driving privilege.  Seems like common sense would dictate that applying the same punitive measures that are associated with “moving” violations to parking violations would be enough to get people to follow the rules.  My guess is that if you told downtown workers that “sitting” on a meter all day could result in the loss of their driver’s license then they would strongly consider parking in those lots that are a block or two from work.  

Creative Penalties

JVH says:

Well, we could shoot them. I agree with Mark, but we do have differing fines for differing crimes. That having been said, The three strikes laws have proven that the vast majority of crimes are committed by a very small number of criminals. So – perhaps we need to be creative in our approach to citation management. Some cities have a sliding scale based on number of citations received. I suggest something bolder. How about towing a car and not letting it out for a week or two if a person has more than say 10 citations in a 12 month period.

Oh, and if Lawrence wants people to use their off street lots, how about if they raise the on street rates. The good ole free market will do the rest



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