Somehow seeing all the paid-parking lots filled to capacity would seem to justify all the work of getting them established.
But the real test was today – half-empty lots and plenty of filled street-parking.
That is going to be the day-to-day reality during the tourist season and it will really be the fact during the shoulder and off seasons.
Now you would think that it would make a poor preservationist upset seeing all those empty spaces.
On the contrary! It gets me excited.
Organizations often act out of their own self-interest just like individuals do*.
To generate income from those lots will now be the motivating force to get the government involved in promoting on a national and international level, Newburyport.
Heck, we’ve had enough of decades of the Chamber refusing to do it. For the comparatively measly advertising dollars, a small rectangular advertisement in travel magazines and travel sections of newspapers plus periodic press releases nationally in the press – would have drawn interest in our City.
Chamber? NADA. Because of their lack of action, our shops have suffered for years and in consequence, the City as a whole has suffered for years.
Apparently, New Agers have infested the organization. “If you build it, they will come.” Well, we have an action-packed, cultural bonanza and eco-funfest and…no one has showed up relatively.
I was just south of Boston today and someone asked where I was from. “Newburyport”, I said.
“Where’s that?” they responded. And that is just in Massachusetts.
I don’t know what money we can budget to do the Chamber’s job for them but I figure staring at empty lots should be motivation enough to scrape some cash together!
Without it, the paid-parking experiment will be a losing proposition!
* The Chamber apparently is an exception. Parker River Clean Water Association volunteer went out to do regular weeding on the Storey Avenue garden for the Little River Nature Trail and found the Welcome to Newburyport sign weed-choked and looking ratty. The volunteer had to clean up and weed a Chamber-owned sign on Monday. You would think with a Chamber-sponsored festival for the weekend, they would have made sure the sign was in top condition!