Letters to the Editor

Fred Burchett: Try parking validation program

Parking is similar to the weather in that it is a topic on which everyone has an opinion. Your Feb. 28 editorial “Free parking” acknowledged the city faces a challenge regarding evening parking in the downtown garages. Instead of thoughtful discussion, you took the easy way out and opposed a fee for evening parking.

Raleigh parking chief Gordon Dash has made a reasonable proposal. Those who create the need for cleaning in the parking garages should pay a user fee. If downtown businesses believe a $2-$5 parking fee will affect their patrons, they can work with the city to provide a parking validation program. Other cities have such programs.

Your editorial doesn’t offer reasonable solutions. Increase police patrols? How do you propose to pay for increased patrols? Higher taxes? What does your “idea” to charge private businesses “fees” to cover parking mean? How would it be implemented? The monthly fee to park downtown during the day is over $100 per month in many garages. Are you advocating that the daytime parkers pay more to subsidize the necessary cleaning costs created by the nighttime users?

I suggest you spend some time with the cleaning crews in the garages. Maybe after that experience, your opinion will change!

Fred Burchett