Disagreement day — I love it —
Patrick Mulligan from Philly disagrees with my post on how to handle the problems of parking increases in his fair city. Read my post here.
His comments and my response follow:
John, You normally get it right, but I think you have unfortunately taken the wrong path and do not understand the total situation as to what is occurring in Philadelphia.
There are a total of fourteen(14) companies that are licensed to provide parking in the downtown section of Philadelphia. Whenever the Convention Center has held a major show such as the Flower Show which draws people from all over the nation, the parking lots closest to the Convention Center have, at times, increased the hourly rate charged while the customer is in the show. The customer entered the parking lot with the knowledge of one rate and upon exiting has been charged a different rate, at times the rate charged has been doubled without proper notification to the customer. This creates a bad taste in the mouths of tourist and people looking to visit the city. Members of City Council along with several departments with in the city have attempted to work with the parking community on this issue with no resolution. The current ordinance on the books in the city requires parking companies to inform the city of the intention to increase rates 24 hours prior to raising the rate. Most of the companies can’t even comply with that, including several of the nations largest parking companys. A recent poll showed that 82% of the people from the surrounding counties that would visit Philly prefer ed to drive. The Convention Center in cooperation with the Center City District provides a free shuttle from outer lying parking areas to the Convention Center for large shows such as the Flower Show. The parking companies that raise their rates based on the time of day are doing so out of greed and are doing very little to extend a warm welcome to those who chose to visit "the City of Brotherly Love
What makes you think if the city can’t enforce their 24 hour rule, that they will be able to enforce a new 30 day rule. If would seem to me that if a parking operator has the chutzpah to change the rates while someone is in the garage, they need to be slapped down hard. This is the kind of thing that gives our industry a bad name.
However, if Philly can’t enforce its current regulations, and allows merchants to change the price after its been quoted, then more is needed than additional regulation. This is the same as a person seeing a price on the shelf at the supermarket and then finding they were charged a higher price at the cashier. In every case the supermarket must charge the lower price. Parking Operators need to do the same.
Where’s the parking organization that defends and supports the parking operators (would that be NPA)? An industry that can’t regulate itself ends up being regulated by the state.
If the parking operators can’t take their own out behind the wood shed and sort out this problem, then so be it. Let the parking police show up and close em down.