I understand there was a parking problem in downtown Truckee that needed to be addressed but I think the time has come to admit that our first attempt at a resolution is not satisfactory and we must look into alternatives. Why isn’t the current resolution working?
1) The ‘pay to park’ signs plastered all over the downtown area are a terrible eyesore and in direct contrast to the spirit and character of the area.
2) The method of payment is clearly not user-friendly. How many times have you seen a number of people huddled around the machine trying to figure it out? It’s bad enough that you can’t just park your car and go where you want to go, but now you have to go find a payment machine, make the payment, then go back to your car to put the receipt inside the car.
3) It is a detrimental to the downtown businesses as it discourages both visitors and locals from stopping to shop. I know many people who boast they have never paid to park downtown. As locals, we want to be able to bop in to store to grab a sandwich (or whatever else) and keep moving. It’s not worth an additional $2 and it’s not worth the hassle of going back and forth between the meters and our car.
4) Having a meter maid running around town handing fines is not the atmosphere that any of us want in the downtown area.
We could have old-fashioned parking meters that would be more user-friendly. You wouldn’t have to go back and forth from your car. You could just drop a quarter in if you’re staying for a few minutes and there would be a meter for each parking space so you’re not walking around town trying to avoid a fine.
Another idea is to simply find a place where the downtown employees can park. Give them an incentive to park there and stress the importance of it, so that parking spaces are left for shoppers.
I’m sure there are many more ideas. Let’s talk about it and take action.
~ Ben ‘Jammin’ Martin, Truckee