Our view: See you there – or not
November 8, 2005
There is a meeting today, Wednesday, about paid parking in downtown Truckee. However, it will be different than the several meetings that preceded it in that at this point the deed is obviously done. Yes, the meeting is of the town’s parking committee, formed months ago to discuss the whole paid parking issue, which at this point has angered hundreds of people.We can safely say hundreds of people because of the responses to an informal poll running on our Web site, http://www.sierrasun.com. Of the 399 people who responded to a variety of questions regarding the parking situation, more than half, 204, thought, “Paid parking in downtown is a bad idea and will drive business away.”The frustrating thing, as we wrote in this space a few weeks ago, is that during the entire time that paid parking was being discussed at previous parking committee meetings and at the Town Council, nary a soul showed up to tell the decision makers that paid parking in downtown Truckee was a bad idea and would drive business away. The idea was hatched to deter people – mostly employees of downtown businesses – from parking their vehicles in one spot for hours on end, therefore taking away a spot for people – locals and tourists alike – visiting downtown.And yes, part of the idea is to generate revenue for the town, which was already paying for spotty parking enforcement and snow removal in the downtown area.The parking plan has been laid out for all to see in the past couple of weeks. And, yes, in some respects produced an egg. The whole employee parking aspect doesn’t seem to work. As several letter writers have stated, workers now have the privilege to pay to work in downtown Truckee. And while we think it’s a great idea for employers to pay for their employees’ parking fees, as many companies pay for mass transit passes in urban areas, how does a local restaurant with upwards of two dozen employees recoup the annual $6,000-plus expense? Cut wages? Cut jobs? Charge more?There are several other issues worth discussing as well, but we’ll leave that to the hundreds of people who think the whole paid parking idea is a bad one and who will undoubtedly show up at today’s meeting to voice their opinions.See you there – or not.