Saturday, March 12, 2011

All May Park, All Should Pay

All May Park, All Should Pay
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
March 12, 2011

OK, so somebody has to be the evil heartless guy that objects to the Alexandria City Council’s decision to exempt disabled drivers from feeding the meters.

Instead, the council retreated from their “all may park, all must pay,” which was actually a fair and balanced system. I am not calling for the elimination of handicapped parking spaces – that would just be cruel. But it is not cruel to expect someone to kick in the same as anyone else who parks in Alexandria.

David Sachs neglected to indicate how the council voted, both as a whole and individually in his March 10 article “City Hall reverses stance on disabled parking,” information helpful to the community.

It was egregious when the council raised the meter rates, to all but discourage people from spending money in Old Town. This only hurts the businesses there. Only want to pay for an hour of parking? Less time to shop. Don’t want to refeed the meter? Don’t dine in Old Town.

I had suggested that the Chamber of Commerce, who has called for increased usage of the garages in Old Town, validate garage parking. More folks would use the garages, and more folks would stay longer in Old Town spending their dollars in shops and restaurants, and not on parking.

If parking is at such a premium, why should a select few be given carte blanche to park at will for a proposed 12 hours at a clip?

Asking disabled motorists to pay does not deny them accessibility or discriminate against them. If anything, non-disabled drivers being asked to pay more and pick up the slack, is discriminatory. There is no right to free parking unless you are playing Monopoly®.

Time now to cast aspersions at the bad guy; but there are plenty of you reading this who agree.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and political consultant living in Alexandria, VA.

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