One of the city councilmen and a local merchant in Dearborn, Michigan, are promoting a ballot initiative to ban charging for parking by the city. Read about it here.
The two, who obviously believe that free parking is a right guaranteed by something, got 4000 signatures virtually overnight. I can believe that. Lets see here’s the question:
"You currently are able to park free in the city lots. The city is going to begin charging. Would you like to stop the charges? Sign here."
It seems that businesses pay for the maintenance of the lots but don’t pay enough, and the city wants to charge the parkers so they can maintain the lots. The councilman and merchants are absolutely certain that charging for parking will bring the demise of Dearborn as we know it.
Funny, isn’t Dearborn the home of Ford Motor Company? It would seem that the birthplace of an industry should be able to understand that it costs money to park cars as well as run them.
Let’s see — the businesses will suffer if paid parking is instituted. So you are telling me that the only reason people come to these businesses is because of free parking. They are willing to pay for parking to see a Tiger’s game, or to visit a fancy restaurant, or when they stay overnight at the Ren Center downtown, but they won’t pay a small amount when they come to eat or shop in "West Dearborn." Sorry, sports fans, it doesn’t fly.
If you want people to come to your area and shop, give them a reason to do so. Make it fun to shop there. Clean up the streets, put in new lighting and store fronts, repave and fix the sidewalks. Increase security. Put in a 12 plex cinema. Cost too much? Not of you take the money you get from parking and roll it back into the neighborhood from which it came.