Parking blues

Posted: Monday, August 11, 2003

Imagine yourself on your way to work Monday morning and stopping downtown for a latte to go and seeing the parking spaces on the whole left side of the street unoccupied. Awestruck at such a dream-like scenario, you pull over and start into Heritage to grab a cup of joe. A good Samaritan informs you that they are handing out "full-flavored tickets" for parking in this parking space.

Looking up you see the signs that reserve that side of the street for freight loading (that isn't going on) from 6 a.m. till 11 a.m. so you get back in your car and drive around looking for a space and hike back. You get back just in time to see a man tell someone else trying to park that he just got a $110 ticket for parking where he is about to park. And lo and behold if the two officers in Interceptors weren't writing the same fine to the guy that pulled in after you.

So for five hours in the morning the Downtown Business Association is cut out of half the parking they are required to prove up for their licenses and half of their potential business that might drive downtown to patronize the local merchants (many of which whine about the franchised "box stores" undercutting the community). Can you imagine? You don't have to. It's a reality. And the city is making bank. They can run the interceptors in tandem and write tickets. They could trade those in for Mack trucks for all the room there is on South Franklin for five hours per business day. Or better yet, locomotives as Juneau has just been railroaded out of another substantial amount of parking downtown. It would be interesting to know the business names that supported this waste and ask them to bear the brunt of this lack of access. Surely no year-round purveyor would stand by and let this happen without causing a ruckus. The Assembly members don't seem to be beholden to the citizens of this community. And for the number of signs saying when you can and cannot park all bolted on one post you need a law degree to keep it all straight. And as for the fine, for $110 you should get all 31 flavors with three scoops. I'm sure the distributors are happy about the five-hour box they have been forced into as well. It just seems it's never enough. Get an inch and take a mile. And who gets the shaft? You. Me. Residents. Citizens. Customers. Voters.

Kirk Ziegenfuss

Juneau



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