So Harrisburg was one of two cities that Mayor Ravenstahl mentioned when he advanced the idea of leasing away Pittsburgh's City parking garages. Turns out that idea faltered in Harrisburg. The union representing garage employees didn't like the idea, and then the plan faltered and finally died in a conflict between their Mayor and city council. Sound familiar?
Bram and the Huddler(?) both talk about this idea a bit. I personally would feel a lot better about this idea if we had a Mayor I thought we could trust. Who would our Mayor be likely to pick, a civic minded firm that would hold only raise parking rates a dollar or two, to ensure a reasonable profit, or a firm that contributes to the Mayor's campaign? Parking rates would go up, just when people are feeling nervous about their jobs.
Meanwhile, what firm would commit to a seventy five or ninety nine year lease. Are we still going to be using cars in twenty five or fifty years? Even if we are, will downtown, knowledge based employees be going into an office every day, or will they be telecommuting, tele-meeting and maybe having a coffee with a client in a Squirrel Hill coffee shop?
I don't want to just opposed everything the Mayor proposes, but so far, he has given me little reason to do otherwise.