Copyright 2005 The Times-Picayune Publishing Company
Times-Picayune (New Orleans)
April 30, 2005 Saturday
SECTION: METRO - EDITORIAL; Pg. 6
LENGTH: 229 words
HEADLINE: The best thing ever
If only New Orleanians had known the import of the new parking meters sprouting up around the city, they might have demanded them sooner.
Charles Rice, Mayor Ray Nagin's chief administrative officer, put things in perspective this week.
In response to criticism from French Quarter residents about the appearance of the meters and the way parking rules are being enforced, Mr. Rice spoke in sweeping terms.
Not only are the credit card-ready meters more convenient, they will also "bring New Orleans into the 21st century," he said.
Pause for dramatic effect.
"So we can compete with the Atlantas and the Houstons."
New Orleanians surely would be happy to compete with the Atlantas and the Houstons for economic development. Those cities are among the most vibrant in the South, and the New Orleans area has lost some well-paying jobs to Houston.
But who knew that updated parking meters could help with job creation? Obviously, the company supplying the meters will benefit, and so will the people paid to hand out tickets. And maybe, instead of spending all their time looking for quarters, people will have more time for genetic engineering and aerospace research.
Or maybe Mr. Rice is trying to make the meters seem so fabulous in the hope that residents will forget that the city paid too much for them and gave the contract to a politically connected supplier.
Good luck with that.