By Diana L. Chapman
Parking. The bane of pretty much everyone’s existence – especially if you are one of the dozens of shop keepers and eateries trying to eek out a living in San Pedro, where a business – good, bad or otherwise – always seems on the edge and struggling.
It’s been this way downtown for decades. I’ve watched many friends open shops with excitement, banners and fanfare – only to watch many of them unhappily shutter their doors year after year.
Many of our hardworking business owners are currently gasping and struggling for air, especially in this dark economy. I’d like to say downturn – but it’s more like a sliding slope that hasn’t hit the brakes and we have no idea when it will.
So when I saw that the Los Angeles City Council agreed to charge four quarters at our lovely city parking meters for one hour, I cringed. This is bad, bad, bad news.
I think our city fathers or should I say mothers in this case are simply trying to kill our town.
How else can I see it? Downtown’s life struggle continues gasping on and on as it has for decades, and just when we think there’s about to be a resurgence – the leap from the run-down shabby feeling of downtown – just never gets launched to the bright momentum we’ve been waiting for.
Um, my forecast for downtown San Pedro are more business closures, one after another after another, thanks to
All I could picture when I read the story was my friend, Susan, who runs Nosh, a scrumptious eatery on
And it’s not because it’s not a great place. It is. People love eating the spinach feta quiche and the fresh fruit coated with granola and topped with Greek yogurt. The trouble of attracting visitors is hard enough without telling them to bring at least four quarters, and probably more like eight.
I don’t know if anyone’s noticed or not, but as far as I know
Doesn’t that make sense? Because it’s a lot less about the money – than it is the stress of finding the coins and running back to your car to hit up the meter.
Once, not so long ago, which now seems so far, far away, downtown’s future looked like a flashing diamond off in the distance and that gem appeared to be heading our way. New condominiums were flying up quickly, bringing a sense of freshness with the rust-orange colors or giant glass windows with views of the port.
New and young families were moving in from all over the
But now with the tumultuous economy, the sales of some condominiums have turned sour, many turning into rentals, rather than purchases.
The business owners who trusted San Pedro was headed in the right direction, climbed on board the train, and the future looked nothing but prosperous. Then, as usual when it seems San Pedro is on the tip of revitalization, the economy sputters and gags.
During this horrendous time, charging $1 an hour is bad enough, but having to have the correct change is the biggest damage. In my future prediction—unless the city comes up with some future intelligence to this situation -- it appears our poor business owners will watch the railroad run by and not bother to stop.
They’ll be standing out in the cold because the city has sucked us dry of all our blood.
Wait, however. As the train clacks by, our poor business owners may be able to reach out and hand you a quarter – no make that four quarters, no make that eight – so you might take a moment to take a peek at their stores.Wait. Wait. Maybe they'll even give you money to come shop.