Permit Parking in Kent, Clarke…


Permit Parking in Kent, Clarke…

Kent, WA is a burb of Seattle.  It is building an "events" center downtown and the residents nearby are panicked that it will mean that people will, dare I say it, park in front of their homes. Read all about it. The solution: a permit area in the neighborhood. Residents will get permits and the amount of time one can park will be limited if you don’t have one.

OH, so man problems, so little space — First of all, they will be inventing an entire new class of lawbreakers in Kent. People who heretofore simply came down town to shop, eat, and have a good time will also become scofflaws who search out dark corners to leave their cars, then come by in a few hours and move them to stay ahead of the parking police. Second, visitors to the neighborhood will be severely inconvenienced having either to get permits from their hosts or chancing a ticket. Third, money generated from the tickets will most likely be dropped into the general fund creating an entire new tax base for the city and local politicians will jump on that money like the proverbial white on rice.

If you carefully read the article, you will find that there are in fact enough parking spaces near the event center to handle event parking. They are both surface and structure, and owned by the city, local mass transit, and private entities. Wait!!! I have an idea. Why not set up a program to attract people to the off street parking near the event center rather than a complex program of permits, rules and enforcement that will turn property owner against parker, parker against enforcement and everyone against the city government.

Charge for parking on street in the neighborhoods.  OK, give residents a break on the charges if you want. Charge considerably more than the off street lots during the events. People will naturally gravitate to those locations and all will be right with the world.

Sure some people will park in the neighborhoods, but probably no more than do now. And so what? Money will be collected. That money will be returned to the neighborhoods in the form of new street lights, sidewalks, parks, and the like. The free market will, as it always does, solve the problem and all will be right with the world.

Sorry, I got carried away. Fairy tales just never seem to come true when the government is involved.


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John Van Horn

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