After much delay and consternation

Sorry for all the delays folks - but life does not stop here at F-R HQ, high on a hill overlooking the city (you know that ferris wheel at the civic center? I saw what you did there) and preparing for the launch of.. well, you'll find out.

Memorial Day has always been a day of remembrance for me, which despite the best efforts of those here in OhNoesaNoke, I was able to push aside all the silly news... until now.

So I open this with this warning: What follows is a weekends worth of held-back commentary, and it might get ugly.

Note to John Lugar, President of Valley Forward:

You have shown the world exactly how petty and childish you and your group really are. By your clear and delusional misunderstanding of the basic facts before you - your bitter statements regarding the people of the city (not that you actually hold them in any regard) and the MMAC show that you are not fit to lead. You, and your group, should be commended for the Gallop for the Greenways. But as for the rest of it, seriously - be still, and listen for a change. I know you folks are used to a certain level of treatment, but you are out in the world now - and things are different out here.

Your "broad public support" is easily dismissed, and you know that. A biased and misleading survey does not prove anything, except to you folks.

Learn from this, for your next public works project and stop assigning blame to everyone under the sun for your own bad idea.

Note to the Roanoke City Council:

There is not much more I can add to the public outcry on the $2 parking fee. It's a bad idea, and I have a feeling you folks know it - but decided to go the easy route and keep the idea.

If, and this is only an if, you get maybe 200 cars on a Saturday at the Market Garage, and another 100 (not seen that many, but what have you) on Sunday - thats $600 in fees collected.

I do understand the need for a new parking garage towards the west side of Downtown. If any area is ripe for growth, it's that area. What needs to be done, rather than raising the fee across the board, is raise it for those who are not city residents - and build into the decal fee a parking tax, and issue a small barcode sticker for city residents. They can then park free when they need it, while still generating revenue for the city to put towards the building of the new garage (and perhaps fixing up the old ones).

That's not the entire story, but it's enough of the story for now. There will be more later - thats for sure.


Rebecca D. Dillon said...

Councilman Brian Wishneff informed me this afternoon he has reconsidered his vote and will now oppose the $2 fee. DRI's market manager sent out a survey this afternoon regarding this issue and within three hours there were already nearly 400 responses mostly in opposition of the fees. I think voicing our concerns to City Council could help. After all, a large number of Council comes up for re-election in 2008. And, while $2 is not a lot of money to some, to others it is. I know a lot of elderly individuals on fixed incomes enjoy the market and will purchase there, but an additional fee could be a deterrent. And what about lower income families looking to do something within the community that helps to give a sense of community - shouldn't downtown event parking be free for them too? Roanoke isn't exactly a high income area. The median income is only around $28K - consider what's left after income and state taxes, medicare and social security, housing, food, clothing... Not to mention downtown isn't exactly widely popular around Roanoke, and paying for parking on evenings and weekends isn't going to do anything to help endear it to those people who don't visit now.

Here is my most recent blog post on the issue with a link to my first article back on May 21st:

ATL said...

Hmmmm me likie your little paragraph to John Lugar. He and his group has some potential, however they aren't meeting any of that potential. Hopefully he'll wisen up, otherwise it'll just be another useless group to clutter up Roanoke with.

Virginian said...

Wow-- hard to believe Wishneff changed his position-- a man of principle. And to say Lugar and his group are not meeting their potential after they raised 35K for the greenways at a first time event is delusional. Sure, the Inn is dead and they haven't completely given up on it (a good sign of the needed tenacity to come), but to say they aren't meeting their potential is, again, delusional.

Philosofik said...

I know Roanoke needs more parking. I know they need it on the west-ish end of town. But I also know that on nights and weekends, the people who park downtown are much of the same people Stuart Mease and his like are trying to attract and retain. As one of those people, and as one who doesn't make a lot of money, $2 out to park, another $4 or $5 at the door when I only have $10 in my pocket means I'm not eating or I'm not drinking. And right now, what else is there to do downtown on nights and weekends? There's plenty to do in Roanoke, contrary to popular belief, but if I have to choose among those things, I'll probably choose the one with free parking.

Keeping people downtown means keeping money downtown, and a parking fee could drive down the former, pulling the latter with it.

Pay for the garage a different way.

Anonymous said...

Oh, so the two independent surveys recently taken that showed broad public support for the inn/restaurant development atop Mill Mountain were meaningless? I've just realized, you're as delusional and isolated from reality as our current President is.