Saturday, April 05, 2008
Members of a dozen churches as far away as Atlantic City spotted this empty parking lot across from Grace Episcopal Church Saturday and parked here while attending a "hip-hop mass."
Had they gone halfway up the lot, they would have seen this sign. Still, who expects to be ticketed on the weekend? But many were, including performers for the event.
Municipal Lot 7 once had many pricey meters installed at more than $300 apiece. Then one day, all but a few were removed and most of the 70 spaces were striped in yellow for permit parking.
In 10 years, only one person seems to have actually taken out a permit for $25 per month. Meanwhile, people attending Grace Episcopal Church or First Unitarian Society, including volunteers and out-of-town visitors to plays, special events, weddings or memorial services are liable to get tickets unless special arrangements are made with the Parking Bureau.
Seven metered spaces, one permit holder, more than 60 empty parking spots where unwitting visitors face getting slapped with parking tickets - is that any way to run a parking lot? Will people remember the cultural or church events that drew them to Plainfield or only the nasty shock of a ticket on the windshield? There is something very wrong here.