New parking regs don’t interfere with coffee stop
By Jamie BateBeing a little too fond of my morning cup(s) of coffee, the idea of having to pay to park downtown to run into a java shop and get my fix left me about as flat as a lukewarm cup of decaf.But that’s until someone pointed out that the paid parking hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It was at that point that my righteous indignation lifted.Heck, you don’t even have to pay if you are going to dinner downtown after 6 p.m.That said, I understand the righteous indignation of other Truckee folk. Yep, the paid parking machines are just one more indication that Truckee isn’t quite the way it once was.One thing you can still do down on Commercial Row is walk along the street and talk to people you know (well, amongst the tourists anyhow). For me, that small town interaction happens mostly when I go to check my post office box at the downtown Post Office.But just as my righteous indignation started to dissipate, it started up again.Am I gonna have to pay to go pick up my junk mail and bills? It was already a hit-and-miss proposition to find a space in the Post Office lot because everyone parked there to do their business downtown.But Kelly Beede, the Town of Truckee’s new parking coordinator, assured me that the Post Office lot is owned by the post office, as the Bank of the West lot across the street is owned by the bank.All this means that motorists who think they can save a few bucks by slipping into one of these lots better think again.”If you don’t belong there,” Beede said, “they are going to call a towing company and have your car towed.”Well, at least I won’t have a problem checking my mail. • • •Speaking of towing – as in after an accident – people’s vehicles, the word on the street about the new dual roundabouts on Highway 89 south is along the lines of paid parking downtown. In other words, “It’ll never work.”I, for one, believe in the good of humanity. That’s not to say that all of humanity is good at driving, as the roundabout-questioning folks I know like to point out. “Just imagine,” they say with a mixture of resignation and devilish delight, “holiday traffic maneuvering three feet of snow in the circle.”I have to admit, I was pretty surprised to see how narrow the two lanes inside the circles actually are. I was expecting a little more elbow room in there to maneuver away from giant SUVs from the Bay Area.But one guy had a good idea: Install traffic cameras that are linked to a Website (like the one on sierrasun.com that monitors Interstate 80) so locals can know before they go.I think that’s a great idea. Once gridlock hits and 89 south is a parking lot, you’ll want to avoid the area because the powers-that-be just might install parking meters to squeeze a few more bucks out of us to pay for the roundabouts. Jamie Bate is the editor of the Sierra Sun. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.