Could Downtown New Bedford Offer Free Parking Year-Round?
I had a 10 a.m. meeting on Union Street in downtown New Bedford Friday morning. It was scheduled for immediately after my show on Fun 107, so I was a little nervous when I realized that I didn't have any coins with me.
I had used the parking meter app before, but that was a few years ago, and I know that the app has changed. I didn't have time to mess around. I asked a few coworkers if they had any quarters, but no one did. No one carries cash anymore.
Thankfully, I didn't get caught at the New Bedford-Fairhaven Bridge, but I did hit every red light known to man between Fairhaven and New Bedford on Route 6. I was meeting at a law office, and by the time I arrived, I was thrilled to see that there was an open space right in front of the entrance.
My lucky day.
It got even luckier when I realized that I wouldn't have to worry about feeding quarters into the meters because the mayor's office had granted a reprieve for the holidays.
I was so psyched. It was such a relief to not have to either scramble for quarters or worry about a parking ticket the entire time I was visiting the law office. It was so nice. Ironically, I later realized that the parking waiver didn't even apply to downtown street parking, so I guess I was fortunate that I didn't get a ticket.
It got me thinking. At the risk of sounding ungrateful for the nice perk the city offers over the holidays, I just wonder...
I understand that the idea of parking meters is to prevent people from gobbling up all of the curbside spots in the city, but if it works during the holidays why wouldn't it work all year-round? It's a sincere question, not a snarky one.
And I know it sounds like the classic case of "If you give a pig a pancake, he'll want some syrup to go with it..."
Some will suggest using the parking garages, but those aren't terribly convenient if you are just looking to get in and out to buy lunch at Destination Soups.
I would venture into downtown New Bedford more if I didn't have to worry about feeding meters. Wouldn't you?
How much city revenue would be lost if we ripped out the parking meters?