Editor:

Re: “Parking, parking, parking in $3.8M consent,” April 21, 2014.

Adding 350 more parking meters in Santa Monica is part of the hidden agenda pursued by the consultants and staffers City Hall listens to. Their long term goal is the total elimination of free, unlimited, permit-free parking anywhere in the city of Santa Monica.

It is time for Santa Monica residents to demand their own streets back. Now that all new parking meters contain card readers, we have the technology for a solution: All Santa Monica residents should be able to obtain special “resident parking cards.” These would entitle residents to a reasonable amount of free or reduced-rate parking on their own streets and in their own parking structures and lots.

Is it fair to charge non-residents more for parking here? Yes, because Santa Monica residents must deal with increased traffic and pollution brought by non-residents, while getting stuck with the bill for municipal traffic infrastructure maintenance, street sweeping, trash removal, law enforcement, emergency response, administrative costs, a bloated city staff and their pensions, and the loss of time due to chronic traffic congestion. And, Santa Monica residents are being forced to give up more and more of their public land to be occupied by vehicles owned by non-residents, while receiving little or no compensation.

There are parking gurus and consultants like UCLA’s Donald Shoup (author of “The High Cost of Free Parking”) who advocate that parking fees should be based on supply and demand. On the surface, this sounds reasonable. But in Santa Monica, tourists, visitors and businesses frequented by tourists and visitors create practically unlimited demand for parking. Is it unfair to base the parking fees extorted from residents on the insatiable demand created by non-residents.

 

Reinhard Kargl

Santa Monica

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