Letters to the Editor

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TACOMA: Are parking meters necessary downtown?

Letter by PT Trang, Federal Way on Oct. 20, 2010 at 3:07 pm with No Comments »
October 20, 2010 3:07 pm

Parking meters have been implemented in downtown Tacoma to ensure that shoppers, clients, and visitors now can quickly find a spot. City officials felt that parking meters would deter “chain parkers.”

Chain parkers reduce parking space turnover and can frustrate visitors. Therefore, city officials believe that more shoppers would visit due to the convenience of always having a spot.

But are the city officials really looking out for the local businesses? I believe the current setup of the parking meters to be inefficient. There is a maximum of two hours of parking.

What happens if a shopper wants to stay? The shopper would have to move the vehicle or face a fine of $25 dollars. This is inconvenient to the shopper, but I thought city officials wanted more convenience for shoppers?

The city council goal is a 15 percent vacancy rate which equates to one open space for every seven spots. The will achieve that by starting the rate at 75 cents an hour and will go up to find the optimal price that causes that vacancy rate. Parking will become more expensive and will drive some potential visitors.

Martin Osbourn, manger of Puget Sound Pizza wanted three spots in front of his restaurant to be exempt. He felt that the meters will give him a competitive disadvantage, but the parking task force will not exempt these spots. I do not believe the parking meters are necessary and might hurt business.

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