We are not Charlie Hebdo
I may be able to answer Ms. Snyder’s question about the silence of others after she came forward with her “I am Charlie Hebdo” statement (DN, http://nando.com/vj).
When something like mass murder occurs, what is really needed? I suggest a simple grief we can hold in common, without surrendering to these dehumanizing and redundant controversies. I will not speak ill of the dead: nor can I say, in the light of a “Charlie Hebdo” Google Image Search, that I identify with the contents of the publication to any great degree.
It is not easy to stare into the abyss of our cruelty to one another and have no remedy. But can we not hold, together, an honest sorrow? Collective, simple, and protective of the survivors? Just for a few days, or a week, before we tilt back down the path to war?
Perhaps for others it was different, but for me the instantaneous appearance of the “I am Charlie Hebdo” hashtag read like a call to ideological engagement in the very conflict that spawned mass murder. You are not Charlie Hebdo: you are alive today. Unlike those people, you still have a chance to make a difference.
Pay lot has hurt business
I am the owner of the Subway located directly adjacent to the Ninth Street parking lot. When the parking lot was taken over by the city and paved, we had great hopes that it would help our business. Unfortunately, our sales declined as a result of the pay-to-park system.
I also predicted that our restaurant and surrounding businesses would be negatively impacted more than others on Ninth Street because we were dependent on that particular parking lot for our customers. In other words, the situation with this parking put our restaurant at a disadvantage while helping our close-by competitors who offer free and/or more accessible parking.
This parking lot is rarely used during the day. Why? It is not only the charge, but parking is now becoming a time-consuming process. For example, a customer comes to Ninth Street for lunch. This customer has to park his/her car, find the one and only pay meter located at the very end of the lot, figure out how to use the meter, find the exact change or credit card, try to remember his/her parking space number, make the payment, and then go to lunch.
This is a time consuming process and it takes an experienced customer a good 15 minutes if not more – and just imagine if it were raining outside. Most customers elect not to go through this process and avoid Ninth street altogether. I suggest that the city converts this lot to a 2-hour lot. This will allow customers who are coming for a quick lunch or shopping to do it quickly and with fewer headaches. Also, it would be helpful to add another pay meter at the south end of the lot. Ninth Street businesses, including our own, need an immediate relief and a solution to the poor parking situation. It is urgent.