Politics and Parking


Politics and Parking

The City of Oakland, CA, has a  problem. A large percentage of its parking meters are broken and cannot collect money. Or they are not. It depends on who you ask.  Read all about it here

Depending on who you ask, the report is outdated and politically motivated. DUH — let’s see  its a week before an election. Anything that happens now is politically motivated.

The meters are old. They are damaged, most from folks who simply don’t want to pay and are looking for a way out.   The city is proposing replacing the meters with P and D/s.  Millions of dollars are being lost.

You will note in the article that not one person mentioned the fact that parking was probably screwed up because it wasn’t being properly enforced.  The City doesn’t seem concerned about the reason for the charges in the first place — to control parking and provide space for people to put their cars.

Oh, is it possible that the real reason for all this was simply to collect money for the general fund? 

Of course it is.  That’s the reason behind every money raising activity by government. Which makes paying for parking so repugnant.  We know that its a tax, not a "fee". We know that the government doesn’t care where we park, how long we park, of if we park, as long as we pay for the privilege to do so.  Rates are set to generate revenue, not to provide better parking, or a better street scape, or support for local merchants.  Pay Pay Pay. Collect Collect Collect.

If our politicians did what they were supposed to do, and provide the services the government is supposed to provide (list them sometime, you might be shocked at how short the list is) think what a wonderful world it would be.

If the money collected for building permits was put back into ensuring that buildings were properly built, if the money collected for education was put into education, if the money collected for parking was put back into the infrastructure that surrounds the place where it was collected…Streets repaved, sidewalks fixed, street lights repaired, garbage picked up, graffiti abated…

What a wonderful world it would be.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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