By Lars Larson,
NW and national radio host
Some politicians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.
Take the leaders of Portland.
The riot-torn and pandemic-devastated Rose City controls literally thousands of parking spots.
Yet, it’s decided to close off 25% of them to the public that actually owns them.
Call me crazy, but if you’re trying to revive a city abandoned by so many workers, tourists and customers, I can’t think of a cheaper or easier way to do it than free parking.
Instead, Portland announced this week it will close and board up the 834 space parking garage at 3rd and Alder.
Dylan Rivera from the city transportation bureau explains it sits 70% empty but there’s plenty of room because other city garages are less than 50% full most days.
City leaders hate cars and they used to punish citizens by limiting parking and then charging a bundle for an hour in a space.
The city built most of the garages decades ago and the public owns them free and clear…because those evil car drivers paid for them.
Locking the public out of public garages seems abundantly stupid to me.
Portland could offer it free as one incentive to get foot traffic back.
It won’t persuade everyone who fears the drugs and crime and violence and filth of downtown but it’s better than nothing…and it’s free.
As the late Tom Peterson used to say, “Free is a very good price”.