Paying To Park At City Parks?

Larry Price
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Wednesday - June 08, 2011
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Oahu has always had a problem with parking, especially in Waikiki, including Kapiolani Park and nearby Ala Moana Beach Park.

So the recent motion by the City Council is basic politics at its best. Nothing fancy. First, they flatter the public by announcing the council is stalling the bill on meters at parks because of public opposition to the idea. Flattery is the first step in political manipulation. The idea is to give the impression that the council really cares what you think about a 100 percent increase in parking rates at all parks. More accurately, they are interested in knowing 1) Who’s for or against raising the parking rates, 2) How interested are they, 3) How many people will it make happy, 4) How happy or 5) How unhappy will they be?

The biggest losers in this scheme are the people who live near parks or shopping centers. If all be known, most of the families living in dwellings around parks have more than one car. Finding a parking place in Chinatown, McCully, Ala Moana or Ala Wai can be a very frustrating search.

The suffering surfing public is going to need a new kind of surfboard: one that has a water-tight compartment that will hold $20 in quarters to feed the meters. If the bill was to become law, they might as well pass another one to allow parking meters that accept credit or debit cards.

There is a good possibility that Oahu has seen the last days of free on-street parking.

It could be that our new City Council can call on new technology, already in use around the nation, where machines can collect money from the public. Probably the only members of our public who don’t mind the potential increase in parking fees is the homeless population. More room for them, better selection of locations to choose from and more privacy.

Here’s the reality of the situation: The city needs money. It is going to get it from somewhere.

Yes, there will be some moaning from the public, but in the long run it will get the money to maintain all of our beautiful parks.

Maybe it’s time to start thinking about how early you have to leave home to find a parking space near a public park.

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