What I sense as I walk around town, on the subject of paid parking for downtown Newburyport, is still a deep, conscious and unconscious resistance.
Not to the degree that the resistance to downtown Newburyport parking existed when it was proposed about 10 years ago, but it still runs deep.
And my father, who was a very astute man, I think would have said, that the resistance is not just about paid parking, but possibly that people might feel that they are “losing their town.”
I think he would be right.
And I asked Mayor Donna Holaday about this. Her response was, as I understand it, that, yes, there could well be a feeling of a loss of control.
But to make sure people feel that they are in control of their town, the mayor, as I understand it, is proposing, for a fee, and a hugely discounted fee for seniors, a sticker for residents that not only would provide free parking for Newburyport’s downtown, but also for Newburyport’s compost heap, and for parking on Newburyport’s Plum Island Point. And there would be something worked out for businesses and people who work downtown (specifics not asked by me) as well.
So I am very impressed by our mayor. It does not appear that Mayor Donna Holaday would like to mess with the people of Newburyport as far as downtown parking goes and torture them. It appears that her goal would be to give the people of Newburyport a Newburyport parking Christmas present instead.