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All People Matter

Galveston Seawall Parking Vote On May 14—I’m A Frequent Visitor To Galveston Who Would Be Willing To Pay

This upcoming Saturday the good people of Galveston will vote on the question of ending free parking on the Galveston Seawall.

(Update 5/15/11–The people of Galveston voted “Yes” for paid parking on the Seawall.)  

From the Galveston County Daily News

“…..Charge up to $8 a day to park along the seawall or $25 for an annual pass. Hourly parking would be available at $1 an hour from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Up to 10 percent of income from the paid parking meters could be used for administrative costs, 15 percent would replace capital improvements and 75 percent of the income would go to seawall enhancements. The council has voted to use the parking revenue for showers, restrooms, litter control, neighborhood security and lighting. Finally, the proposal includes a sunset clause that would end paid parking seven years from the day collections start. If paid parking is beneficial, the council could extend the clause.”

This is a matter for the people of Galveston to decide.

However, as someone  who visited Galveston every six weeks or so for the nearly 13 years I’ve lived in Houston, I can say I’d be very willing to pay to park at the Seawall.

Galveston has the right to charge a modest fee to recoup the costs of maintaining and improving the Seawall. As much as I enjoy walking at the ocean in Galveston and walking on the Seawall, it is clear that it is a bare bones operation without even the most basic amenities  such as a public restroom. The $8 daily fee or the $25 annual pass is affordable even to lower-income visitors. Many people visit the Seawall with friends and family. The cost of parking could easily be split between passengers in a vehicle.

Here is a list of improvements that seawall parking would fund as according to Blog.Galveston.com

  • Vehicular controls, management, and parking
  • Sanitation and litter control
  • Law enforcement/Neighborhood and Seawall Security
  • Beach/dune system education
  • Public facilities (restrooms, equipment rentals, picnic areas
  • Recreational and refreshment facilities
  • Wash off stations
  • Necessary staff and personnel
As long as the parking fee remains affordable, the people of Galveston have the right to raise the money needed to well-maintain a public asset as valuable as the Seawall. It seems that the entire City of Galveston would benefit from the money raised by this modest fee.

May 9, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments

Layers Of The Past—A Road Is More Than Just A Road

In the two months since my dad died, I’ve had some contact with relatives I’ve not had any interaction with for many years.

Not having much to do with family over the years, I’m still deciding to what extent I want to engage these folks.

Dad’s death seems to have dug up layers of the past.

Should I pave them over or not?

I was driving on Washington Avenue here in Houston a few days ago and I encountered this literal example of layers of the past.

Everything we do and everything we say has context. Each place we go is someplace visited by others before we arrived.

Layers of the past and the context in which words and actions occur can be dug up by taking the time to recall events in our lives, or to recall the history of a specific place or circumstance.

Layers of the past can be dug up events we have no control over such as the death of another person or running into an old friend on the street.

Layers of the past can be dug up by a public works street repair crew.

Metaphor and the physical world give each other meaning.

A road is more than just a road.

Expand your view of existence by seeing things both for what they are and for what they could possibly represent.

With a little effort this is a capacity that every person has the abilty to accomplish.

May 9, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments