In my head cold driven ravings below I opine that Privitization of on street parking and parking in general as it has been done in Chicago and other places may be bad public policy. Correspondent Mark commented and his bon mots are important enough to bring out here on the blog proper:
For the most part it was “bad public policy” in the first place that put these cities in the position where they need to sell off parking operations and other assets. Are they leaving money on the table? The investors certainly hope so, but there is also the chance that they could be getting double what the deal is actually worth.
Who’s to say what might happen if gas went up to $5 or $6 gallon next year, or what the results would be if other expenses escalated to the point where people cut back on their driving? There is tremendous risk in deals this large, and in exchange for assuming that risk it is reasonable that they would also want to reap the larger share of any potential reward.
That being said, these deals should not be entered into without serious consideration of the long term consequences for both sides. The problem is that some of these cities are “on the brink”, and this is the only lifeline available to them. It may not be the ideal solution, but for some it may be the only “realistic” or “doable” solution. In those situations they are not negotiating from a position of strength, but rather from one of desperation. The drowning man doesn’t negotiate for a lifesaver and it’s too late for swimming lessons.
My general take on these deals is that the City’s have known about the pending budget problems for years, but kept putting it off. They were effectively paying off a maxed out credit card with the minimum monthly payment, and all the while were maxing out their other cards as well. At some point it catches up to you, and the economic meltdown of the last couple years has exposed those bad policy decisions from years past.
Well said. See what happens when brain power, unaddled by drugs, even those for headcolds, is brought to bear on a problem. Bad public policy is rampant. Perhaps what we see now is the result of years of neglect.