Monday, August 15, 2005

Boo uptown

What’s up people? I’ve been missing for a while, but some stuff uptown drove me out of seclusion.
What is the deal with uptown? First the city begs us to come and enjoy the nightlife, then they do everything they can to make hanging out a hassle.
Tryon Street is a war zone with cops on every corner to stamp out the evil, evil cruisers and those scary kids in their oversized T-shirts. Turning onto Tryon Street is harder than merging onto I-77 South during rush hour.
But here’s the latest: the city is considering charging to park uptown 24-7.
In the words of Lil’ Jon – "WHAAAT?!"
Doreen Szymanski of the Charlotte Department of Transportation wants me to set the record straight: there are no proposals or meetings scheduled to discuss the topic. Researchers, however, are looking into how other cities do it.
Hmm. No real plans yet, just research. Sounds like a good time to let the Charlotte Department of Transportation and elected officials know: paying to park uptown in the evenings stinks.
I mean, come on! Many parking decks and lots already charge in the evenings and more plan to start capitalizing on the anticipated traffic from the arena opening. The city could at least resist the urge to be greedy. Gas prices are already sky high, and it’s impossible to hang uptown without dropping a wad of cash, anyway.
At least offer a grandfather clause to the people brave enough to go out uptown before there was an entertainment district. Give them a free parking pass for helping make uptown what it is today.