Guest editorial: Parking for locals and employees should be free
As a full-time resident since 2004, I have a suggestion for the parking issues in Old Town. I speak to the issue of giving employees and residents hanging passes for their cars so that no parking payment would be needed.
It would be a very easy thing to do. Go to the tax rolls and see who are residents, and then check with all the employers in town for a list of employees, and give them hanging passes for their cars. Include the passes with their tax bills. Simple right?
Everyone is always bemoaning the fact that we don’t have enough employees in town, so raise your hand if you think this is going to help matters.
Raise your hand if you think the local people will come to shop, lunch and dine in Old Town. I don’t think so. We hardly go now as it is because we have to pay to park on Main Street, and have to go to the dark dungeon parking lot called Swede Alley. During the down season, many locals would be more inclined to shop and dine there if they didn’t have to pay. This would definitely benefit businesses also. Now you want to even make us pay on the other local streets. How about you just put up “local resident parking signs only” and be done with it?
Why not for once think of the people who live and support this town with their taxes, who make constant donations to all the nonprofits, who pass bonds for purchases such as Bonanza Flats, who can’t get on the local buses because all the visitors have filled them to capacity. My bus doesn’t even show up during Sundance, and I have to go to the Resort to catch the bus for the Fourth of July. So, I have to drive anyway. For once, make the tourists and visitors bear the burden for the overcrowding they have caused. The simple answer is always that they bring in the bucks, so let them pay for the privilege, not us.
Park City speaks to its independent and forward-thinking policies and uniqueness in Utah, so for once why doesn’t City Hall support all the wonderful families and individuals who live here, and want to be able to go to their own town and shop and eat without having to pay for parking. Why do you think Kimball Junction is so crowded all the time? No one wants to pay for the privilege of shopping and eating in a “pay for parking” area.
Yes, let’s have tourists pay their fair share for coming here, but why the locals who are so often asked to support local businesses not given a unique and forward-thinking benefit? We might even get into the Mountain News Report for once.
Let’s have a leadership (as written in this week’s editorial) that crafts thoughtful decisions about their “real” community. Perhaps, we need new types of leaders who always put the welfare of their constituents first, and not the moneymakers. Sometimes it is just nice to be appreciated!