Parking meters aren’t historical sights

Richard J. Burton is a lawyer in Old Sacramento

Once again, city leaders and Old Sacramento management have demonstrated greed, stupidity and hypocrisy in their decision to pollute Old Sacramento with disgusting parking meters.

To conduct business in that area I, along with all the other business owners, must pay extra business license fees to help maintain the historical nature and appearance of Old Sacramento. There are also specific rules and guidelines about signs and storefronts designed to maintain the historical look. Keeping this in mind, it is pure sophistry for city leaders to say on the one hand that Old Sacramento should not be altered to look modern yet on the other hand install ugly parking meters. In addition to destroying the historical nature of Old Sacramento, city leaders have, without asking the people of Sacramento, taken away the last significant historical area in Sacramento where people can spend the day without paying parking fees.

I have not heard any news about the city or Old Sacramento suffering from a financial crisis. Clearly, the installation of meters amounts to nothing more than excessive greed.

Anyone who has had the opportunity to travel to Downtown Sacramento has realized that just about every inch of Downtown is permeated with parking meters. Why not add more? Perhaps our city leaders should take a drive to downtown Woodland to see how a city can survive without excessive gouging of the citizens. Even the courthouse in Woodland is free from parking meters.

To add insult to injury, our great leaders have decided to charge Old Sacramento visitors 25 cents to park a measly 15 minutes. That is outrageous gouging. The big difference between Downtown Sacramento and Old Sacramento is most people are required to go to Downtown to conduct business. However, most people who come to Old Sacramento are not required to be there. They simply come to visit. That is going to change. Why would anyone visit a place that rips off the visitors?

The only people happy about this rip-off are the city leaders. Clearly they are drooling in anticipation of meter money and all the new parking tickets that will be written. Shame on them. Shame on the people of Sacramento if they stay silent on this issue. Without solid protest, say goodbye to Old Sacramento.