Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s plan to raise rates and extend hours for the city’s parking meters hit a significant snag Wednesday, with a majority of the City Council coming out against the proposal.Might.. but very likely won't. It works out much better if you can rail against something you don't have any real control over. Especially if doing nothing means an estimated $4.3 million in additional revenue.
Landrieu can implement the proposed changes to rates and hours without the council’s approval, but the opposition of four council members caused administration officials to soften their tone on the proposal, saying they would be willing to talk about the issue as part of the ongoing budget negotiations with the council.
Some council members hinted they might introduce a measure specifically to block the changes.
Of course, the Mayor's Office says that doesn't really have anything to do with anything.
Chief Administrative Officer Andy Kopplin said raising the rates is in line with best practices from other cities and the recommendations of economists who argue that street parking should be priced competitively with other alternatives.1) Whenever they throw the term "best practices" at you, you know they are up to no good.
Officials also have argued that increasing the cost would make street parking less attractive and therefore more available, potentially reducing traffic caused by motorists circling the block looking for a space.
With about 80,000 hospitality industry workers in the city and 2,000 metered parking spots, Kopplin said that availability rather than price is the key issue when it comes to where those workers park.
Addressing the increased cost of parking should be done by increasing the availability of public transit or raising wages for hospitality workers, rather than by preventing a meter rate increase, he said.
2) Aspiring to price street parking "competitively with other alternatives" is like saying that public parks should price admission competitively with Six Flags, or libraries should charge Barnes And Noble prices to readers. A public street is a public facility. It's fine to charge a nominal fee to help maintain it. (Although because this amounts to a regressive tax it should be kept low.) It's a different thing entirely to treat it as a profit center.. especially since you're deriving said profit directly from the wages of hourly service workers.
3) Sure "increasing the availability of public transit or raising wages" are great ideas. But there's no plan to do any of that. (No plan that isn't a complete joke, anyway.)
But as the Mitch Administration has demonstrated time and again, they're still happy to say condescending things to low wage workers for as long as it takes to systematically price them out of the city.