I see Craig Miller took a reasonable beef to the Madison City Commission Monday night. KJAM reports that Miller asked the city to revise its 24-hour parking ordinance. Evidently we have a rule that prohibits leaving your car in the same spot on city streets for more than 24 hours. After our last snowstorm weekend before last, Miller left his truck parked by the curb for more than a day, and the city left him a ticket. Evidently displeased, Miller suggested at Monday night's meeting that the city should revise that rule.
The city took no action. The city should. A 24-hour parking limit makes the incorrect assumption that everyone will drive every day. It may even encourage people to drive when they could just walk. If you're parking on the street and you have to move your car anyway, you'll be more inclined to drive those five or ten blocks to the post office than to just take a healthy walk.
Some folks may not have a better parking option, and they may not want to drive. When Erin and I lived in Vancouver, our landlord had no room for us to park, so I had to leave the trusty van on a side street. In eight months in the city, I drove the van once. The rest of the time, I took the bus, bike, or boots. Having to move the van every day would have been a waste of time and gasoline.
We've got bigger things to worry about than whether Craig's truck has been in the same spot for 24.1 hours. As KJAM points out, some other towns have two-day or five-day parking limits. Madison should by doing the same to support energy conservation and healthy living. If the car has a valid license, the city should let it sit.
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