Reader: Fewer stupid parking tickets would encourage more people to visit Denver
Melanie Asmar's post about the more than 28,000 overnight parking tickets issued this past summer -- a supplement to her feature article "Feed Me" -- inspired one reader to paraphrase the "Imagine a Great City" slogan that's been used by Denver mayors from Federico Peña to Michael Hancock. But what he imagines differs from their vision.
I'm imagining a great city in which parking meters post clear and simple directions so as to minimize the number of people receiving tickets. It's a city in which the police don't hand out traffic citations for petty technical infractions, the parking patrollers don't ticket vehicles after the street sweepers have already passed through, and the photo radar and red light cameras and the officers validating them don't indiscriminately harvest drivers caught in less-than-clear violations. More importantly, I'm imagining that parking regulations encourage visitors to visit, while dealing with limited parking availability -- fairly. I'm also imagining that diminishing law enforcement resources are shifted back to crime prevention and solving, genuine safety improvement, and community building. Maybe then the citizens would stop believing what city officials continue to ignore or deny: that law enforcement in Denver has become less about serving its community and building trust, and more about generating revenue. Maybe then Denver would be more inviting to prospective employers.
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