So much for Bend being a welcoming city. Members of the city’s downtown parking advisory committee pushed for more paid parking downtown as a way to tilt the availability of parking to people with more money.
“People who have a few dollars to shell out for parking are more likely to make purchases at stores or restaurants, according to their reasoning,” as reported by The Bulletin’s Julia Shumway.”
If that’s their attitude, what’s next? An income test for being able to park downtown? Direction to Bend police to roust people downtown if they don’t look like they have money to spend?
That would be crazy. But so is the idea that jacking up the cost of the parking should be used as a tool by the city to effectively make it harder for people without a lot of money to shop downtown. It’s got to be different from what most Bend residents want for their downtown.
The Bend City Council has bent over backward to emphasize that Bend is a welcoming city. It has issued proclamations. It has held events. It has wanted to break down “the legal obstacles and challenges many individuals face when seeking the American dream.” And then it follows the direction to jack up the cost of parking, in part, to favor people with money? Councilors even set the fee to raise the cost of parking everywhere in downtown. The fee hasn’t been implemented everywhere, yet.
Bend’s downtown parking advisory committee is made up overwhelmingly of business representatives from downtown. City parking policy might be very different if instead of the city having a downtown business parking advisory committee the city had a downtown shoppers parking advisory committee.