I wonder if Marshall Dillon was tasked with enforcing any parking regulations in Dodge City. Somehow I doubt it. However, the city will begin this month enforcing its downtown parking regulations.
Seems that the local businesses are concerned that people don’t have enough parking so they aren’t coming downtown in droves. Enforcement of the two hour limit will enable "turnover" and therefore more parking for patrons of local businesses.
In addition, the city is looking to purchase a bit of local property and build a lot or garage. You can read all about it in the Dodge City Daily Globe here.
I’m not certain whether or not there were parking regulations in the 1870’s and 80’s in Dodge when Matt, Kitty, Doc, Chester and Festus ran the place. You couldn’t just leave your horse anywhere. Or park your wagon blocking the stage route. I’ll bet Doc kept his little four wheeler close at hand, but out of the way of traffic and you know that Fetus had his mule stabled where it was out of the wind and weather. You have to believe that if Kitty had problems with her customers getting in to the Long Branch, she would cut a deal with the Mercantile next door and get some more space, or even have a boy outside who would deal with the cowboy’s horses for tips. And my guess is that if bartenders Clem or Colie tied their horses up out front, Kitty would have their hides. She wanted to be sure her thirsty customers could get to the bar.
I wonder what would happen if the city today simply told the merchants they were on their own. If they wanted more parking, they had better provide it themselves. Lets see, what could they do — They could purchase the land nearby and build a parking lot (not rely on the city to do it), they could get creative and institute a valet service downtown, or, shudder, they could set up an authority of some kind and charge for on street parking and use the money collected to pay for the additional parking needed, or to pave the streets, or for other improvements in downtown.
I’m sure that Matt and Kitty didn’t go to city hall every time they needed something doing with their downtown. They just got a bunch of merchants together and fixed it. Times have changed, haven’t they.
Anyone out there disagree? Do you think that since our lives and cities are so complex today that we couldn’t solve the problems the way they were solved 130 yeras ago? If so, let me know — comment button is below.