Screwed by The Parking Gods

PARKING_METERS

A letter to the editors in today’s Post & Courier takes the city to task:

In December, the city of Charleston raises parking fines 75 percent
to encourage citizens to use parking garages in downtown Charleston.

Then
in January, the city’s Department of Revenue introduces the SmartCard
to make it more convenient to pay at a parking meter. Obviously the
debit-style card is aimed at locals (business people, clients, shoppers
and students) because “visitors from off” wouldn’t know about the
program.

The immediate effect of the increase is that a meter violation now results in a parking ticket worth $14.

Then there was this bit of news that appeared in the paper on December 22:

In March, the city moved parking enforcement duties from the police
department to its revenue collections division. This loosened up budget
dollars and helped the city hire more parking enforcement officers.

Let me tell you that, as a “customer” of parking in downtown Charleston, around the College of Charleston, the enforcement troops are ubiquitous, aggressive, and determined. They are indeed attempting to force people into the garages that are sprinkled around the campus. Several of those garages are privately owned. Guess what? They just doubled their charge for the first two hours!

The law of unintended consequences? Or a nefarious plot. Either way, I’m screwed.

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