An adjustment to the city of Fayetteville’s pay parking program was immediately met with cheers and cries of “It’s a start” on Facebook and beyond.
Starting Oct. 1, pay parking won’t begin in the entertainment district until 2 p.m. each day. The change will last until the first city council meeting in December.
Why? Pleas from restaurateurs who begged the city for relief from the policy.
“This could bury a 30-year-old restaurant that has been a landmark of Fayetteville,” said Neal Crawford, owner of Jose’s, according to a story by Skip Descant in the Northwest Arkansas Times.
It doesn’t take a brain genius to see what happened here. Rather than deal with the hassle of pay parking, people went elsewhere during daytime hours. Lunch crowds can be fickle, but one thing you can count on is they’re always in a hurry.
Why go to lunch at Wasabi and hazard working with a cantankerous pay station if you could pull right in with no trouble at Sassy’s? Why meet a client for coffee at Common Grounds when you could park at the square and saunter over to Jammin Java without the fear of getting a parking ticket?
Result: Win! Sort of.
Dickson Street business get at least a little reprieve while the city further studies the impact of the pay parking program. Elected officials also get a win for responding to the pleas of desperate business owners and being willing to compromise on the policy.
The question now is, will customers change their habits again and return to Dickson Street establishments for lunch, coffee, etc. during the day?
Hopefully, when the time comes, the 2 p.m. start time will be made permanent. Or even better, maybe the parking program can be further restrained.
Color me shocked. Fayetteville passes its millage increase. Springdale shoots its down. It’s great news for the building project at Fayetteville high school. A definite bummer for the Springdale district’s plans.
Result: Fail on my powers of observation
I successfully, if privately, predicted the result of pay parking on daytime business in the entertainment district in Fayetteville.
My mighty powers of prognostication pooped out magnificently when I uttered my school election predictions aloud to my peers. I was sure Fayetteville voters were still peeved over the last millage request and still waxing wroth any time the subject of the high school came up.
Springdale, on the other hand, loves its sports, and I figured the inclusion of money for some new athletic facilities guaranteed passage.
As Redd Foxx used to say, “You big dummy!” — this time his finger pointed squarely at me.