(65th in a series of posts on parking)
City Council will probably decide Wednesday night on the BPA proposal to raise the parking violation fines.
If you have been following along with Gadfly, you probably have been forming opinions.
Council members at this very moment may be thinking about how they will vote.
Let’s play along.
Try on the Yes hat, the No hat, and the Maybe hat.
If you are a City Council member prepared to vote yes, you are probably doing so because:
- You firmly believe that there is or will be a severe parking shortage on Southside East.
- You firmly believe that the Polk Street Garage is the best way to address that shortage.
- You believe that, in a sense, a Polk Street Garage is inevitable.
- You believe that the Polk Street Garage has been on Council’s horizon for so long that nobody should be surprised about it and everybody should be knowledgeable about it, and therefore there is no reason for a delayed decision in approving the money needed to build it.
- You believe that problems associated with the New Street Garage will not be repeated with Polk.
- You believe that the exercise of submitting questions to BPA was a stalling tactic.
- You believe that the answers given by the BPA to those questions are inconsequential.
- You believe that the attitude and behavior and communication problems attributed to BPA, though sometimes accurately portrayed, are just noise, smoke, and should not distract or detract from the fact that the BPA is fulfilling its mission well.
- You believe that nothing will be gained by denying the BPA proposal and that, in fact, such action will produce chaos for the would-be tenants, which makes no sense since the ultimate outcome is inevitable.
- Therefore, you believe the best thing to do is for Council to approve the BPA proposal so that the Polk preparation and construction process can move on in timely fashion.
If you are a City Council member prepared to vote no, you are probably doing so because:
- You believe that there is or will be a parking shortage on Southside East.
- You are not sure that a Polk Street Garage is the best or only option to address that shortage.
- You do not believe that it is wise to support a financial request without a business plan and thus no accountability.
- You are very worried about the amount of debt the BPA is piling up and which the City may ultimately be responsible for, especially since exact numbers are hard to come by.
- You see no assurances that past grievances concerning the New Street Garage will be rectified with the Polk garage.
- You believe that garages should not be built on the backs of the common residents.
- You believe that BPA has demonstrated reprehensible behavior in the course of the parking study and proposal process.
- You do not trust BPA.
- You believe that BPA answered Council’s questions cavalierly and in bad faith.
- You believe that if the BPA proposal is denied, it will be BPA’s fault and then their responsibility to find a way to move on from there.
- Therefore, since the process has been so flawed and since BPA has been shown to be such a bad actor, you believe the best thing to do is for Council to deny the BPA proposal.
If you are a City Council member who finds yourself in the middle and prepared to negotiate a settlement, you are probably that way because:
- You agree with virtually everything the Naysayers believe as described above.
- You are the kind of person who likes to compromise, likes to try to find a solution, a way to get things done.
- You want to avoid chaos as totally unproductive and hurting everybody in the long run.
- You would vote yes if BPA would stipulate to the following:
doing a real strategic plan
raising Lehigh’s New Street rates to market rate in 5 years
charging market rate to institutional parkers at Polk
submitting a detailed plan for studying VRP
giving you the Sands correspondence
going to confession with Father Mulrooney at the Steelworkers Chapel
kissing Gadfly’s buzzer
Does one of these hats fit you?