|[Neighbors are worried about traffic and parking.]|
Grand Avenue Parking Meters Threaten Treasured Way of Life
Plans to "test" meters for Grand Avenue met with unanimous opposition by businesses, residents, shoppers, and even their pets
As part of its proposed city budget for 2016 the Saint Paul Mayor's is planning to "test" parking meters along Grand Avenue between Ayd Mill Road and Dale Street. According to city documents, the meters would charge innocent victims at least $1 to merely park their cars along Grand Avenue, though prices could easily escalate to far higher levels, as has been seen in other cities like Manhattan or Central London.
"Nobody will come here any more," said restaurant owner Guy Rich. "It'll be a ghost town. I'm already putting my buildings on the market."
"But I'm not hopeful. They're probably not worth anything any more," Rich continued.
Grand Avenue parkers could be seen frowning and looking at their dashboards in dismay Monday, and the local business community is unanimously united in opposition to the tyrannical plan, which was announced with zero community enragement efforts by City Hall. Summit Hill Association head Sally Driver is planning a series of public enragement efforts in an effort to thwart injustice.
"We're going to hand out parking tickets to people to get their feedback," Driver said. "We feel that it will be a good way to enrage with the public."
Since the founding of the city back in 1852, Grand Avenue has never had parking meters. Parking has been at the center of neighborhood conversations since then Mayor Norman Parker changed the official city motto to "carpe parcum," or "sieze the parking spot."
"How can anyone be expected to pay $1 to park their car on their way to buy $50 yoga pants? It's inhumane," said Larry O'Leary, who frequently chooses Grand Avenue over the Mall of America because of the parking.
Parking meters have been suggested before by fringe political candidates and city planners in the past, but the ideas were repeatedly met with screams by mobs of calm and rational neighbors.
"I just think it might work," said current Ward 2 City Council member Dave Thune, who is not running for re-election and will not be held accountable for his actions.
"Meters are the worst kind of genocide, and will bankrupt this city," said Ward 2 City Council pretend candidate Bill Hosko, who opposes the plan. "We should be encouraging more people to park."
Hosko is an avid bicyclist and successful businessman who narrowly lost the Ward 2 election four years ago.
"If elected, I will personally operate a valet parking service for anyone who wants to drive to Grand Avenue, leave their car there, and go anywhere else. I'll pick you up. I even have a driver's license," Hosko continued.
A local group, Saint Paul Irate Neighbors to End Parking Tyranny (SP-INEPT) is already foaming and is planning a protest downtown, provided there is free parking available, according to Steve Drivel, the group's founder who has lived in Saint Paul for thirty years in the same house without walking and mows his lawn often with a riding mower that he fixes himself in his garage that also has a car and a boat in it.
"I've never paid for parking my entire life," Drivel said. "Not once. Even my dog Muffin hates the plan. Did you hear that? I'm pretty sure she just said 'park'."