Tonawanda News

Opinion

July 3, 2014

OUR VIEW: Parking law change a step in right direction

Tonawanda News — We were pleased to see lawmakers in the City of Tonawanda throw it in reverse this week and vote to abolish an overnight parking ban during the summer in the city after initially voting to keep it last month.

The benefits to residents far outweigh what minor concerns officials expressed at the idea, which has been discussed for some time but never enacted. 

More importantly it also reflects a change in mindset long overdue from the city council. Elected officials should reflect the wishes of the voters who empowered them, rather than their own personal feelings on the topic. Virtually no one in the city is opposed to on-street parking during the summer. Many residents will take some measure of convenience at not having to move cars into and out of driveways every morning.

Is it a major issue? Of course not. But where possible it should be a guiding principle among elected representatives that government exists to serve people, not control them. Maybe it’s a minor inconvenience but small problems are still problems and we elect people to help solve them, not create them.

Will a cranky neighbor complain if someone parks in front of his house? Undoubtedly. That cranky neighbor will find something to complain about no matter what. You can probably find him in the Sound Off column right now, as a matter of fact. Those people shouldn’t dictate policy for the city as a whole.

It’s also worth noting it makes the city a little more friendly to visitors. Virtually every other municipality in the area allows parking. Does the City of Tonawanda really want a reputation for doling out parking tickets for a law that makes no sense to begin with?

What’s more, we were slightly disturbed by city police using cars parked overnight as a means to further investigate someone, or at least their property. A car parked on a street in the middle of the night poses no obvious security threat. That a city law enabled police to poke around just for the sake of it is an unwarranted invasion of privacy. 

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