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TACOMA: Parking fees benefit government

Letter by Brad Slusher, Tacoma on July 14, 2011 at 10:45 am with 4 Comments »
July 14, 2011 1:18 pm

Re: “Parking costs top $1 million” (TNT, 7-13).

It’s commendable that the City of Tacoma sets the high mark for implementing paid parking infrastructure and enforcement. What’s not clear from the article is any indication of actual benefit to local business and consumers.

The intentions stated in the article are to increase turnover, build a more vibrant business atmosphere and increase “use” of downtown (whatever that means). Like most government programs, the intention is one thing, the unintended consequences another.

We know this much: Around $1 million a year is being spent on a larger and more pervasive government bureaucracy, whose benefit to the community is suspect. On the down side of the ledger, $1.1 million was taken from the pockets of consumers who are patrons of the downtown area in the form of fees and fines, which will definitely not be spent there now.

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Leave a comment Comments → 4
  1. itwasntmethistime says:

    So the additional $1.1 million dollars consumers spent on parking was supposed to help increase business in the downtown core by encouraging vehicle turnover. Did it? How much more revenue have the downtown merchants taken in since paid parking began?

  2. stetsonwalker says:

    I go out of my way NOT to shop in downtown Tacoma and that is one of many reasons!

  3. Roncella says:

    Its totally unbelieveable that the Business Community actually believed that adding parking meters to the Downtown Tacoma District would increase parking available and bring more Customers to shop in Downtown Tacoma.

    I’m certain if a study was done it would show the opposite affect. More and more Shoppers and folks going out to dinner avoid the downtown Tacoma area because of the Parking Meters.

    With the Tacoma Mall just mins away with free parking and so many hundreds of Strip Malls dotted all over Tacoma and Pierce County all with good parking access and free parking why on earth would the mayor and council and others think adding parking meters would add Customers ??????

  4. alindasue says:

    Prior to the metered parking, when parking was harder to find, I would park my car at Tacoma Dome Station and ride the light rail in to visit downtown. Now that the parking is metered and there is theoretically more parking to be found, I still park at Tacoma Dome Station and ride the light rail into downtown. Not much has changed.

    Personally, I go out of my way to avoid going out to diner at shopping malls. They are noisy even during the off peak hours and the mega-parking lots surrounding them are anything but pedestrian friendly.

    I don’t think the parking meters are doing much to hurt businesses downtown – but it’s certainly not helping either. However, we’ve got plenty of traffic downtown. What would do more to help downtown businesses would be to make the area even more pedestrian friendly. Available parking, metered or not, will give cars places to stop, but we have to get the people moving once they leave their cars to really help downtown businesses.

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