Parking enforcement will push away tourists

Editor,

I’m writing about getting a parking ticket at Tiscornia Park last Saturday. Just to remind everyone, last Saturday was a gray, gloomy and cold day, so being outside was not something a lot of people were doing. We pulled into the parking lot and I’ll admit that I ignored the sign that said it cost $10 to park.

Keep in mind also, it is after Labor Day, so the summer crowds in St. Joe are at a lower level. The two ladies I was with wanted to take a quick look at the lake, and if we were going to stay any length of time, I would have paid for a parking pass, but I seriously doubted if we were going to stay long. Anyway, we started to walk to the pier to take a look at the lake and I saw an officer pull up, get out of his car put a ticket on my truck and the car next to mine, then leave. This was done in less than five minutes after I pulled into the lot. Even if I was going to the station to pay for my parking, I wouldn’t had the time to get to the station before I had a citation on my windshield.

After we left the park, we had dinner at the Bistro for about $138, and my friends spent close to $200 at the shops in downtown. Needless to say, this overzealous enforcement of parking, especially after Labor Day, will have more of an effect on your merchants than the $40 I had to pay for the citation.

In the future, I will be very hesitant in going to downtown St. Joseph to show my guests around. I’ll probably take them to New Buffalo or South Haven, where they don’t have to pay for parking to see the lake after Labor Day. I don’t see how this type of law enforcement has a positive effect on the local community.

Michael Passwater

South Bend, Ind.