Parking and Politics


Parking and Politics

As I read through the parking news feeds, one thing is certain, parking is a political football, particularly on street parking. As this article in the New York Times shows, mayoral politics in the nation’s largest city may be affected by what Bloomberg opponents call “insensitivity” on the mayor’s part.

In this case, its “parking on Sunday.” Prior to 2002 only about 11,000 of the city’s 62,000 parking meters were in service on Sunday. Now the number has jumped to nearly half. Hizzoner’s opponents claim this ‘money grab’ doesn’t reflect the needs of churches who require parking for their worshipers.

That parking is an issue in political campaign should be no surprise. I have said for years that parking is one of the most emotive of issues. We see it in office complexes where owners hire operators to “take the blame” for parking problems, and in cities where mayors and city council members “fix” parking tickets in exchange for support.

Until the general public understands that parking isn’t a “right” guaranteed in the constitution, and that parking isn’t seen by city administrations as a source of vast sums of money, our little industry will be smack dab in the middle of controversy and politics.

OK NPA and IPI – where are those campaigns to help in upgrading our image and letting folks know the reasons why parking must cost.

Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

One Response

  1. Parking privatization in Chicago has created a quite a quandary! How should government select
    parking operators? Might private Building Owners and Managers (BOMA) have learned that it’s best not to have a single parking operator manage two parking structures adjacent to one another?

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