New parking center fees need explanation

Posted: Thursday, December 02, 2010

Now that the construction ordeal is over, there is much ado about presenting the brand new Downtown Transportation Center as being free during the Christmas shopping season, for the benefit of Juneau shoppers and businesses, when that is exactly what the intention was supposed to be anyway (emphasis on for the benefit of shoppers and businesses).

One is left wondering if this entire enterprise has not been one to further tax the public by bleeding us for parking in a facility that we own, and are paying for through taxation commitments already. What will the parking fees be for, anyway? To pay for the wages of a collector to come and collect them? To keep the lights on? One can understand the need to keep the lights on. But perhaps that expense can come out of the significant proceeds the city gets and has already gotten from businesses who have paid sizable fees to opt out of providing free parking for their customers when their remodel plans have created a demand for extra parking, and who should get something positive for their money.

Obviously, the new scenario will be a disincentive to shop downtown, instead of in the more welcoming arms of the Mendenhall Valley. It may be convenient, but as far as the cost of the facility goes, anybody can do the math and see it will cost less to park on the street for up to 3 hours, than in the new Downtown Juneau Revenue Center, even after the forthcoming parking meters are up.

The meters are supposed to be a disincentive to parking on the street, and thus an incentive to use the new facility. A better incentive would be no cost at all to park there, and would be an example of the people really getting something for a change!

Tony Tengs


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