Lifting parking limits avoids real issue

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 27, 2000

It’s curious to us that city leaders seem to think lifting parking restrictions on more downtown parking spaces will actually help alleviate the problem of inadequate downtown parking.

Earlier this week, the Natchez Police Chief Willie Huff revealed a plan to remove the parking restrictions on more than 85 downtown parking places. Huff said officials will evaluate the effectiveness of the plan, which grew out of a meeting hosted by the Natchez Downtown Development Association, based on the decrease of parking tickets issued and by a survey of merchants after the two-month trial period.

We’d be willing to bet even now that the number of parking tickets will decrease — obviously if there are fewer restricted spaces than there were, logic dictates that there will be fewer opportunities for violators to be ticketed.

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And, we’d even bet that merchants will be happy with the plan — including many of those downtown merchants and business tenants who have perfected the game of &uot;musical parking places&uot; by moving their vehicles every two hours or so, just to avoid getting a ticket.

We realize that downtown parking places are at a premium, and we also realize the importance of those spaces to the merchants and retailers whose livelihood depends on customers being able to access their businesses.

It just seems a bit contradictory to us that the very people who are most adversely affected by the limited parking are the ones who abuse the parking restrictions. And, we still have to wonder, will the lifting of the time-limit restrictions actually free more spaces up for downtown parking, or will the new proposal just free up a few more employees from those &uot;time-to-move-the-car&uot; breaks?