This past week, Q-line asked:

The City Council has agreed to increase the fees for parking at Downtown structures. The maximum daily rate will increase from $7 to $9. A monthly pass will go from $82.50 to $121. Do you think that the increases are overdue, or has the council gone too far?

Here are your responses:

“The City Council’s fee increases are just one more sign of their ongoing greed and mismanagement. Of course, in their scheme of things, they have to keep all the dead wood going in all the branches of the city government. And don’t forget the maintenance of the ever-increasing bum and freeloader population. It takes a lot of taxpayer dollars and these out of control city fees to do that.”

“Money is not the root of all evil. The love of money is the root of all evil. I believe I see some of this love of money rearing its head in various municipal fees and fines. I recall when Santa Monica’s parking structures were free and parking meter fines were $2. Both of these features made Santa Monica a great place to park and shop.”

“I do believe the City Council has lost their marbles. They will effectively drive employees to seek a job where there is available parking without having to pay a large sum of money for it out of a very small salary. And try buying a week’s groceries for a family and bringing them home on a bicycle. Not everybody can ride a bicycle. They need to bear in mind before they up the rates on parking that people will just go somewhere else.”

“We are in a recession with record unemployment. People are looking for bargains and discounts. Our greedy City Council raises parking rates and increases the cost of parking tickets, making our town more unfriendly to shoppers, tourists and residents. Many of us already shun our Downtown because of this. Instead, we should lower parking fees and tickets and give out more warnings, to make our shopping experience more friendly and happy. Most shopping areas have free parking, paid for by the businesses instead of our taxes.”

“I don’t think the parking figures are out of line. Of course, from $82.50 to $121 is a bit high, but for regular parking rates, I think it’s fine.”

“They should make the fees even higher. I never even drive to Santa Monica, let alone try to park there. I don’t care one way or another what they do.”

“I thought the financial engine for Santa Monica was Santa Monica Boulevard. Most of our tax revenue comes from selling those despicable cars. I don’t frequent the mall, but why would a city government raise parking rates for store employees, and sometimes shoppers, during a recession? Has the council seen how many empty stores there are in this town? All they care about is the $15 million in yearly parking fees that they can spend on their socialistic programs. The council is dangerously out of touch with the common folks. Support a possible vibrant community — lower by half all parking fees and fines.”

“The council has gone too far once again: Killing the parking, killing the trees, killing the animals — always killing. That’s what they do best.”

“The City Council is barking up the wrong tree increasing the parking fees. I stopped going to the Downtown garages when the homeless started taking them over and the urine smell got to be too much. So, until they get the garages cleaned up and compete with Century City or the other shopping centers, keep the fees the way they are.”

“It is really wonderfully simple: Parking is a commodity. It is not a right. If you price parking so that there are always 15 percent of empty spaces, then everybody can find parking in a hurry and no one needs to stress about finding a spot. For a dollar more, you get less traffic, fewer accidents and less time wasted trying to find a spot. Everybody will love it — even Mr. Bauer. He can do his free parking thing in Bermuda if he wants to, but Santa Monica is just too smart to let this opportunity pass. And did you know that 20 percent of all accidents occur when drivers stress about parking?”

“Apparently the least expensive parking structures are close to Downtown, and more distant parking, like the library, cost more. Everyone wants to park in the cheap structures on Second and Fourth streets, which are often full. In the meantime, the more expensive structures and private lots have adequate parking. The price increase for Downtown structures, or the decrease for less favored structures, therefore seems logical. Parking can be better distributed. A recent study also indicated that with more reasonable pricing, and parking redistributed, there would be enough parking Downtown and no need to build additional structures.”

“It’s a great idea that they’re going to increase the fees. They should increase them even more. Nothing will help improve the traffic situation in Santa Monica more than increasing the fees for parking. Shoppers will go to every other community and avoid Santa Monica entirely, and Santa Monica will be left to the Santa Monicans, who, of course, desire to have all the benefits of the taxes generated by the shoppers from other communities, but don’t actually want them around. So, Santa Monicans will be able to enjoy their peace and quiet again. Of course they’ll have to give up those extra perks they demand from the city government, but that’s the way it goes.”

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