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The price to park downtown is only cheap in ghost towns

By Mike Zielinski, Host of The Mike Zielinski Show

Apr 23, 2019
Mike Zielinski

When I was in Catholic grade school and not getting my ears boxed red by the nuns (parochial schools actually had nuns who wore habits back then and who could apply corporal punishment without the risk of criminal prosecution), I learned that God created the suburbs on the final day of Creation so that folks wouldn’t have to pay for parking

Which, from a theological perspective, certainly rings true because apparently there are no parking fees in heaven.

Evidently the only toll up there is at the Pearly Gates. I wonder if you can zip right past St. Peter if you have a heavenly E-Z pass, which could come in handy if you haven’t been all that angelic here.

Anyway, what I’m getting at is that here on earth, paying to park can be a real cross to bear.

But thank God we live in a benevolent location when it comes to parking fees. The monthly fees in Reading Parking Authority garages generally run $82.

Granted, that’s not chump change … especially when you could divert those dollars every month to cigarettes, booze, crap games and green fees (or if your religious education really stuck, tithing to your church).

However, $82 a month to park is a mere pittance compared to what some poor souls in Manhattan pay to park. Actually, my use of the adjective “poor” might have been ill-advised. It costs more than $500 a month to park there.

Then again, Times Square has a bit more going for it than Penn Square, which usually rolls in the sidewalks by 5 p.m. unless there’s a downtown concert or hockey game.

Of course, we all know why cities charge to park in their downtowns. Downtown real estate generally is pretty valuable, so parking in a lot or garage is going to be somewhat expensive to make up for the revenue that’s not being earned by using that space for retail, restaurants or offices.

Part of the reason that downtown street parking is metered is to generate revenue. But it’s also to get people to move their vehicles now and then. Otherwise there always are some folks who park in a spot and pretend it’s a campground.

Then again, if you’re to cheapness what Mozart was to melodies and Rembrandt was to canvas, you likely have cataracts when it comes to seeing the big picture.

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