What would the Pilgrims Say

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What would the Pilgrims Say

Plymouth, MA, had a problem. Not enough parking in downtown.  So they took the logical step of charging for parking.  The locals were up in arms, and a year into the project continue to be so. Read about it here.

And read the article carefully. It’s very revealing.

First — it comments that in addition to the anger over parking, there have been two new shopping areas open nearby, thus taking folks from downtown.

Second — promised new garages haven’t materialized. One of the reasons, the developer is up to his eyeballs in city generated red tape.

Third, and the most telling — the local merchants are complaining that THEY are getting ticketed.  That means that they are taking parking spaces that could be used for locals.  That probably was a major cause of the parking problem in the first place.

It is possible that the rules may need a little tweaking, or that the private ticket writers could be a bit more lenient (of course, they are paid to write tickets, not set policy). Nevertheless, a good PR program, some frank discussions with the enforcement group, a way to get merchant’s cars out of the area, and perhaps an adjustment in rates could all go a long way to solve the issue. 

I note also that the article says that the number of complaints has gone way down since the projects inception and people have gotten used to the process. 

It seems to me that there are a few disgruntled merchants that need to be "sold" on the new plan. 

The city’s big mistake — not putting the money from the parking back into downtown.  No one seems to know how much money has been generated or where it is.  I guarantee that if the merchants saw new street lights, or cleaned up plantings, or a street scene (like music, etc), my guess is that their complaints would go the way of the turkey on that first Thanksgiving — Oh yes, they didn’t serve just turkey then, but also ducks, geese, and even swans.  You read it here first.

JVH

John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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