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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

Solar Powered Parking Meter Does Not Work On Sunny 95 Degree Day

Today I had an errand to run in Downtown Houston. I parked on the street and walked up to the solar powered parking meter. I hit the button on the meter that makes the screen come on. But the screen did not come on. Without the screen, you can’t pay the meter.

( Above is picture of a solar powered Houston parking meter. You can see that this meter is well-protected from possible public abuse. My question is who is protecting the public from the meters?)

Today is a 95 degree mostly sunny day In Houston. If there is any day a solar parking meter should work, it is today.

There was a man standing behind me also waiting to use this meter. He worked for a courier service and was delivering a letter. I told him the meter did not work.

The courier walked around the corner to another meter. The meters give you a little slip of paper when you pay. You get the paper and put it on your dashboard. It does not matter what meter you use as long as you have the slip.

The courier put money in the other meter, since in this case the screen did light up, but after paying he got no paper. It was out of paper.

I’ll be honest with you—I was in a bit of a hurry and after all this I did not pay any meter. I did though call Houston’s 311 number for municipal services and repairs.  Hopefully this is being fixed today. 

I’m not by any means a reflexive basher of city services. But I don’t understand why simple stuff like this is allowed to happen. It makes people frustrated with the entire city government.

Bottom line: If the city of Houston offers you on a spot a city-sponsored solar powered spaceflight to Jupiter—Don’t go. You’ll just stop moving and spend the rest of your life drifting in space.

July 28, 2008 Posted by | Houston | , , , | 5 Comments