When I visit Morro, I look forward to reading Estero Bay News. A recent article on paid parking prompts my comment. I feel that city planners and city councils get persuaded by the prospect of easy money and the legacy items the money could buy. Paid parking seems a tailor made funding source. I am opposed to this. The reason for parking meters is to move potential customers in and out of business zones. In Morro, this may produce unwanted effects. It may serve to reduce the volume of foot traffic in shopping areas, it will negatively impact water sports and excursion rides, it will cost the city one or more full time employees, including health and retirement, as meter readers. It will cost the city for the meter reading vehicles. It will cost the city to contract with a collection agency. It will move visitor traffic into residential zones. It may increase littering and other intentional expressions of displeasure, there will likely be vandalism of the machines adding to the cost of their purchase and installation.
Overall, I believe it will lose the city money in revenue and sales tax income. Finally, it is well known that coastal governmental bodies feel a sense of ownership because of location, yet feel resentment for the laws that grant the public access to public spaces. In effect, if I can’t charge you for the beach, I’ll charge you to park next to it. It is freedom’s death by a thousand slices, and I hope the business community stands fast in opposition.