Options to the BPA Parking Meter Proposal, Public Meeting, September 20, 2018 (16)

(16th in a series of posts on parking)

 “The purpose of this public meeting, it’s not just perfunctory, it’s not just we can sit here and see what you have recommended, and we have to go home and say, well, that’s how it’s going to be. I hope the purpose of this public meeting is to legitimately hear alternative ideas, alternative propositions because I think as you’ve heard here . . . there’s a lot of real concern about how this meter rate increase is going to impact our small business and the economic viability of our downtown. So I urge you to please keep an open mind, please consider some of the ideas that you’ve heard here tonight.” (Paige Van Wirt)

Gadflyers must be offerers.

The three main options to the BPA/Desman proposal offered at the public meeting September 20, 2018, are:

  • Tax Increment Funding (Dana Grubb)
  • Free parking plus an increased fine: $0 meter rate + $25 fine (Bruce A. Haines)
  • Variable rate pricing (Paige Van Wirt)

Some striking sound bites:

.50 more an hr. to drive people to the parking garages is pretty meaningless. . . . I don’t really think it changes behavior to do a .50 increase in the parking meter rates.” (Bruce A. Haines)

“I’d like us to rethink how we think about ourselves.”  (Bruce A. Haines)

“We should look at Bethlehem as a transformational progressive city when it comes to parking.” (Bruce A. Haines)

“We need to rethink our whole philosophy.” (Bruce A. Haines)

“We are punishing residents to gain more revenue.”  (Stephen Antalics)

“Our on-street parking meter rates are essentially a tax. Their [residents’] streets, and they pay a tax to park on them.” (Dana Grubb)

“This study did nothing on cost-cutting, did it?”  (Jake)

[Industry standards] . . . “smacks of speaking ex cathedra.”   (Bill Scheirer)

“I think that the people who are going to be using the garages, the larger businesses, really need to have some skin in the game.” (Paige Van Wirt)

“There’s a lot better ways to find money for this parking system than putting it on the backs of the small businesses and the people who use the downtowns the most.”  (Paige Van Wirt)

“We have to think outside-the-box, thinking in ways that aren’t creative is really just kicking the can down the road.” (Bruce E. Haines, not Bruce A. Haines)

“the death spiral the parking garages have put us in.”  (Al Wurth)

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