Published February 15, 2013
Demand council action, end the parking scourgeMARTIN KIMELDORF
Want an $18-plus cup of coffee? Go downtown Olympia where the parking meters work with city staff to create a $15-plus surcharge on your normal $3-plus coffee. Park 6 inches over the line, one minute late and these petty tyrants slap a ticket on your windshield. A number of us have even gotten a ticket clocked in at one minute before our meter was up. Volunteers at the food bank report getting tickets when told they would not. Recently, the meter ate my credit card and the Parking Services people replied by assuring me that it could not happen. They refused to come out and retrieve the card. Luckily a Good Samaritan later passed the meter, retrieved the card and notified my bank. The mayor and city council have heard endless complaints about the unreliable and complicated meters and overly aggressive meter readers. And yet they fail to rein them in. Why? This consumer abuse has got to stop. It is time to use creative direct action to abolish the meters and encourage the city to fire the parking staff. When I am able to walk again, I plan to stand on a corner with a sign demanding an end to Olympia Parking Services. I urge everyone who loves downtown Olympia to use their imagination and take direct action to stop this scourge.