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Downtown worker, and customer too

February 13, 2012 - Lee Smith
Fairmont is a big-shot now, apparently. It is enforcing a two-hour parking limit downtown, with a $25 fine. The folks in Minneapolis are probably awed and trembling by our new status as a major shopping center.

Yes, what Fairmont has done is beyond silly. It’s maddening. For two decades, parking downtown has been wide open, despite the posted two-hour limits. That has left folks like me, who work downtown, free to park as we please. That probably is not the most courteous thing to do, but it’s not like Downtown Plaza is full, other than say at the noon hour. I don’t get to work until 2. At that hour, under the new enforcement, the street is bare.

I can’t help but wonder if in their demands for parking enforcement, those clamoring for it ever considered that some of their best customers are those they scorn, namely downtown workers or renters. (I once lived downtown as well.) I have always banked downtown. I have had prints framed. I once employed an attorney whose office is downtown. I visit the drug store for pop, snacks, batteries, cough drops and Advil. I have eaten countless meals downtown.

In other words, I’ve been a good, steady customer. So I am personally insulted by what the city has done, under the prompting of some short-sighted retailers. I wonder if I won’t be changing my shopping habits.


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