Town leaders deserve credit for lowering day-long parking rates to make the new garages affordable and for hiking the meter fees to try to free up more spots during the day.
It’s getting harder and harder to park in the Center, which is both good and bad. It’s good because it shows how popular the place is. But it’s bad because there are times that some of us don’t go because we don’t want to deal with parking. (Of course, I feel that way about the mall, too, and it’s never short of spots.)
Business owners and employees need to stay out of the metered spots. Too many of them don’t seem to understand that whenever they’re parking in one, they’re eliminating a place for their customers to park, and perhaps losing business. The higher fees ought to help convince them since self-interest doesn’t always do it.
I’m also glad the town didn’t impose metered parking fees on Sundays. But it may turn out that there’s no choice down the road except to add them. The important thing is to ensure there are parking spaces available for customers, whatever day of the week it is.
The new meter rate is $1 an hour instead of 50 cents an hour. The surface lots and new garges will stay the same as they are except that all day parking charges will drop from $10 to $7, a real bargain.