Unhappy about Urbana parking rules

Letter to editor published in News-Gazette 23 November 2006

Comment: The use of “Urbana bozo” by the writer, a Champaign resident, suggests the extent to which Urbana and bozo have become synonymous.

As a Champaign resident, I never imagined I’d jump on the Urbana Bozo wagon, but I’ve realized recently that Urbana has no interest in fostering a retail climate which would cause people to want to shop there.

I work in Lincoln Square Village; its parking lot is run by the city. We’re required to place stickers in our windows to park in the employee areas. I have a sticker for my car, and one for my husband’s in case I need to use it. Recently, my husband joined me at lunchtime to shop at Art Mart.

When we left, he’d been ticketed for parking in the customer area. I returned the ticket with a letter explaining that he was there as a customer that day.

We received a reply denying our request to have the ticket voided; however, the reply noted, they may reconsider if we can produce a sales receipt from that day. What if we hadn’t made a purchase? Would that have invalidated our customer status?

While I’m at it, if you’re parked in the customer area for over two hours, you’ll be ticketed; better not shop too leisurely. And why do the downtown meters have a 30-minute limit? If I have lunch downtown, I have to interrupt my meal halfway through to feed the meter.

Why are city officials so paranoid about parking? You’d think they’d want to encourage people to patronize businesses. This interaction with the parking Nazis makes me determined to never shop there again.

Dorian Cosmedy
Champaign

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