I publish guest blog entries from my readers. Here is the latest on the Ventura County Tea Party's opposition to parking meters:
(Photo Credit: Joseph A Garcia, VCStar -- http://www.vcstar.com/photos/2010/sep/04/106020/)
Nobody goes there any more. It's too crowded - Yogi Berra
Is there a better way to sum up the parking meters in Downtown Ventura ("Parking Meter Opponents Change Measure Language", 3 Mar 2011)?
The so-called "Tea Party Activist" Carla Bonney says they are symbolic of too much government intrusion. And downtown merchant Gary Parker is apparently whining because he lost his free parking spot in front of his place of business.
As far as I can tell, the pay parking spots are frequently used. Isn't that the free market speaking, Ms. Bonney? And though there were some initial difficulties with the meters, they're easier to use than an ATM machine. We had friends from Orange County visit recently who were quite impressed at the convenience of adding time from any meter and the bargain price of parking in a bustling downtown steps from the beach. Moreover, I've rarely had a problem finding free parking. On other days, my family and I jump on a bike and cruise to downtown - there are plenty of ways to get there safely from just about anywhere in Ventura. We find that when we take the bikes, we end up spending more time and money patronizing the shops.
If folks have a problem paying for parking, ride a bike or use one of the free lots. Yes, both are less convenient (you get what you pay for) but the alternatives also yield some exercise and possibly some extra time in downtown. Everybody wins.
The money has already been spent for the meters and the program will eventually fund itself.
Now, can we focus on something of real importance, like funding our libraries and fire department or bringing more jobs to the City?
John Buccola is a Ventura resident