Last week's question asked about the problem of parking in Annapolis. Officials took a step toward addressing the city's parking dilemmas last month. Under a bill passed by the Annapolis city council, parking fees will increase from 50 cents to $1 an hour on meters and from $1 to $1.25 an hour in the Hillman and Gotts garages. The bill also set a $1 hourly rate at the new Knighton garage off West Street and will allow city residents two hours of free parking in all three downtown garages.
Mayor Ellen O. Moyer also will propose a comprehensive overhaul of parking policies that would not only increase fees but protect residential streets from tourist parking, divert parkers to a few garages and satellite lots and toughen law enforcement against those who park illegally. Here are some responses:
Raising parking fees in city is a good idea
There's a chronic shortage of parking in Annapolis. Any time demand is chronically above supply, it's an indication that the price is being kept artificially low (e.g., by government regulation). Raising the fees for parking totally makes sense; if anything, the fees should be raised even more.
Joseph Baressi Severna Park
Changes to parking help quality of life
We support Mayor Ellen Moyer's policies to raise parking fees and protect residential streets. These changes will lead to an improved traffic environment within Annapolis, thereby making it a more pleasant place to visit, and will balance the interests of various City taxpayers.
The City Council has already approved parking fee increases. Now, it is important that they pass steps to protect residential streets and implement the proposed traffic improvements.
Carl and June Larkin Annapolis
Inconsistent policies make situation worse
As a former inner West Street resident, I find Mayor Ellen Moyer's approach to downtown residential parking enforcement mind-boggling and stunningly inconsistent.
This issue could be solved by complementary department-wide policies, consistent enforcement and realistic commercial zoning requirements. Annapolis' bureaucracy, firmly in the pocket of business interests, uniformly turns a blind eye toward reported residential street parking infractions committed by inner West Street employees or patrons. The City's outdated planning and zoning provisions allow significant business expansions - such as a 2 a.m. liquor license granted to a new inner West Street restaurant and bar located 40 yards from our property's front door - without requiring a single additional parking space for employees or patrons.
Mayor Moyer chooses to ignore these shortcomings and their effect on residential quality of life. She apparently believes that a big part of the solution is hiring two more parking enforcement officers armed with 1960s-vintage chalk enforcement methods. Perhaps Annapolis voters should consider electing a more progressive leader in 2005.
Kevin Miller Annapolis