Gloucester Daily Times
---- — To The Editor:
It has been long known that parking meters go out of effect at 6 p.m. in Rockport. This has been the case for as long as I can remember, and probably known by most who visit here.
As far as the overall meter plan, I agree with some of the changes, but I think it is a mistake to change the hours.
Parking in Rockport has always been a topic of contention and always will be. I got my first ticket when I was a officially resident for a whole 2 hours. I guess it was my “welcome to town present” after my real estate closing, although I had my P&S agreement plainly in view in the front windshield. But I digress.
First off, we pull the plug on the trolley shuttle at 6:45pm. The logic of this still evades me. Now the folks who stay to dine and shop, spending needed revenue dollars, are going to be tagged who may not be familiar with the new rules (I realize there are supposed to be small stickers on the meters, but...).
Then the folks, namely daytrippers, who stay are going to be worried about their meter, or, worse, surprised with a ticket. This to me, in a still-sour economy, is another excuse for people to leave and go elsewhere as if thumbing them in the eye. It’s almost like we’re saying “we know parking is tight, there is no trolley after 6:45, and now you must pay until 8:00pm, tough luck”.
Now there’s a tourist-friendly approach.
As far as the other provisions are concerned - higher rates and credit card capability - these are reasonable. Costs change and go up, and technology brings new features.
I just think the changing the hours is just another irritant to an already difficult situation, and the ultimate losers are the restaurants and shops because this leaves a bad taste in visitors’ mouths.
If revenues are a concern, then let’s enforce the rules we already have. I’ve lost count of the hundreds of times I’ve walked by a car with out-of-state plates parked at an expired meter with no ticket on the windshield. As a resident and taxpayer, that is very irritating.
It’s time to rethink the change of hours and focus on enforcing the rules we already have.
Thatcher Road, Rockport