Public meeting Thursday, September 20, Town Hall, 6PM
(3rd in a series of posts on parking)
So, now that you have come up to speed, what are the kinds of questions and answers we need about the proposal to increase parking costs from the public meeting, Thursday, Sept. 20, Town Hall, 6pm? Dana’s interviewees give us a good start.
Dana Grubb, “People Say.” Bethlehem Press, September 5, 2018, p. 1-2.
“We live in Philly. Parking here is so cheap.”
Yeah, so how do our rates compare to comparable other cities? Is Philly comparable?
“I don’t think people are willing to pay $1.50. I think $1.00 is already reasonable.”
Well, how do we determine how far the public wallet will stretch? Sounds so subjective.
“I don’t like it. It kind of cuts down on people who can’t afford it.”
There you go. But we can’t charge by income level. (Though THAT would be an interesting solution!)
“It depends on what they are going to use the money for.”
Ahhh, a good one. Here’s where we get in to the need for and value of new or newly repaired garages.
“No one wants an increase unless it’s valid.”
Well, ok, how do we determine what is valid? Who determines what is valid? Is this why we pay the mayor and council those big bucks (just kidding!), to make these hard decisions?
“Where’s that extra money going? What good is it being used for? How does my community and I benefit from that increase?”
So half of Dana’s “survey” focus on the use of the extra $$$. “How does my community benefit?” just may well be the most fundamental question here, the one on which we most want to focus (do you notice former English teacher Gadfly struggling not to end that sentence with a preposition?).
Do you have some pre-meeting thoughts you’d like to share of the kinds of questions we should be asking and seeking answers for out of this meeting?
One thought on “Questions for the Parking Meeting (3)”
Seems to me the justification for the increase that BPA offers never explains (as some of Dana Grubb’s interviewees note) what will be done with these increased amounts that would benefit Bethlehem’s citizens’ lives or answer some kind of need. What’s offered is: By raising the rates we’ll be like other communities. Can we assume that when we pay more at the meter and more by way of fines, we’ll be as happy (or as troubled?) as citizens of some of those “model” (?) cities named in the report?? Are there any studies documenting what great benefits were reaped when some of those communities raised their rates? And do they show that Bethlehem is sufficiently similar to those towns for us to expect similar positive (?) results when we adopt their rate-raising plan?