The cover of today's Seattle Times—in a piece officially titled "Parking violations bring in big bucks for the city of Seattle"—says that the reason the city issues parking tickets is to make people stop driving:
"It's all part of Seattle's larger plan to discourage driving," they say.
It's not to generate revenue? It's not to pay the bills for the city? Whaaaaaaaat?
This is so inconceivably ludicrous—even for the Seattle Times, which has been propagating a cars-vs.-bikes debate and fighting for cars like they're an endangered species—that even folks who normally cozy up with the Seattle Times had to set the abacus straight. Jon Scholes, vice president of advocacy for the Downtown Seattle Association, sent the paper a letter that is now posted (with permission) on the mayor's blog:
I’ve got to come to the City’s defense in regards to your story this morning on parking fines. The characterization that the “goal” of the City’s parking enforcement program is to “discourage driving” is entirely inaccurate as is the implication that parking Downtown would be easier to find and more plentiful if the City didn’t enforce parking rules (or were less effective in enforcing the rules).
Without parking rules in place and fines to enforce those rules, drivers would have fewer opportunities to park on the street Downtown, not more.
Scholes continues to dismember this argument over here.