Parking and the Magna Carta


Parking and the Magna Carta

Oh brother. Our cousins across the pond are drowning in cars and no place to park them. Read about it here.

The BBC Calls it a "crisis", of course tea being ten minutes late can be a crisis for our English friends.

Nevertheless, the spokesperson for the local governments says that some local authorities are using parking fees and fines to fill out their unbalanced budgets. Can you believe it?  He is horrified that the parking operations might actually make more money that they cost. I am desolate with concern.

They need to take a long slow sip of their Gin and Tonic and put their feet up and read a few pages of Don Shoups book. They have caused the problem, not the evil public who want to drive their cars. If they charged people in the central cities what it costs to park there ( like in London ) the problem would disappear overnight.

Instead of the local governments subsidizing parking, they should make the drivers pay what it costs to park their cars. If the people still show up in droves, they should keep increasing the parking fees until they slow down the deluge.

Then they would have enough money to build the infrastructure they need, put in transportation, build parking on the outskirts of towns and install shuttles.  And maybe, just maybe they will have the common sense to make the parking spaces large enough so a range rover or a roller can park in them.

The article is calling for more planning and local government intervention. What they need is less government planning and simple control. Charge what it costs, use the money to put in curbs and sidewalks where none exist. Institute local parking permit areas and charge for them. Begin a campaign to tow cars that are improperly parked.

Strangely enough, people will begin to think about where they are going to PUT a car before they buy it. My guess is parking areas will spring up and charge folks to park there.

They say that folks are complaining about over zealous citation writing. If the money collected was used in the neighborhoods where it was collected, and there was enough of it, then my guess is that the folks would stop complaining and help the traffic wardens do their jobs.

They need to get it straight. Brits think charging 25 pounds (about 40 bucks) for a parking fine is outrageous but think nothing of paying $30,000 for a Ford Taurus.  Cars are very expensive over there, fuel is nearly $7 a gallon, houses are more expensive there than they are here, but they still think they should be able to park their cars for free. They need to get some reality.

The UK has some of the highest density of residential dwelling on the planet. Most houses have only a single car garage and its not in use. Driveways can handle only one car, and the rest are parked catch as catch can on the sidewalks and streets. That can be fixed, but to do so, the drivers must be willing to understand that in addition to paying for the car, fuel, and maintenance, they also have to pay for a place to park it.

We always say that there is an amendment to the US Constitution that guarantees free parking. Well the folks in the UK believe that it came from English Common Law dating back to the Magna Carta. They had better start rethinking their parking enforcement, charges, and the like.

It is NOT the responsibility of the government to supply free parking to all the people of a community.


John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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