Letter to the Editor: Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018

Main Street needs meters

In response to the guest column, “Meters On Main Street,” (Thursday, Jan. 4, Sun Newspapers) as a merchant on Main Street since 1977, I can say that the column was a satirical piece, but wasn’t funny.

Businesses on Main Street are hurting and some going out of business right now, because people can’t park to shop or dine.

I’ve had clients who loved Walt’s Wharf and many of the other restaurants in the area, but said they would never go back, because the parking is so bad. Or people who live on the Hill who don’t come down, because they can’t park.

I was in the deli and the owner was telling the counter person, “You have to tell the customers that we have parking in back, or they’ll never come back again.” This is only a fraction of examples I could give.

Traffic is insane on Main Street from people fighting over the free parking, they’re speeding, blasting through intersections, backing up traffic for a block, while waiting for a free parking space. And there’s too many cars to count, throwing illegal U turns to get into a parking spot with their cars, often bouncing right up onto the sidewalk.

I’ve never seen it this bad, with beach goers, business owners and employees parking on Main. Beach goers don’t park at the beach lot because it’s full or they don’t know where it is. They don’t park in the beach lot because they don’t want to pay.

The city is going to almost double beach parking fees, which is just going to compound the avoidance of the beach lot. The business owners and employees can park for only $45 a year at the fire station lot or the beach lots, but choose not to.

The city is going to purchase smart devices, so people can’t wipe off tire chalk marks or just pull into the next space. Do you not think people aren’t going to learn the limitations of these devices and how to get around them, or realize that parking enforcement isn’t always on Main? They will get around it.

We need to meter Main Street. That’s when all this craziness will stop and we’ll be able to  restore the peacefulness of Main Street and make it economically viable. Years ago the majority of the City Council approved meters, but through underhanded political maneuvering, at the very last minute, it was rescinded. The city lost $100,000 on the actual meters and millions of dollars over the years, in parking revenue.

The revenue could have gotten us a parking structure or more police or any other number of things the city so desperately needs. It’s time for a real common sense solution. Meter Main Street, make Main Street peaceful  again, let people stay in business, and create revenue for the most basic of safety needs that we are lacking.

Woody Woodruff

Seal Beach