I called the city to get an explanation for this, very politely asking when it was that the rest of us were allowed to park downtown for free. “No no no no,” said the nice person at the Morgantown Parking Authority. “They’re not parking for free. That spot has been paid for.”
What happens is that downtown businesses rent out spots and then offer them to customers. The spots cost $12 per day, which is what the city would make if a single vehicle was parked in that spot for 24 straight hours. On its face, this seems reasonable. The city’s business rent out spots, hoping to entice bikers to use park there, to then presumably give the space’s renter income.
Even a casual amount of critical though reveals this to be a raw deal for the city’s taxpayers. Because it isn’t a single vehicle that fills those spots; it is multiple motorcycles. In any other case, each of them would stand as its own vehicle, each of which represents a total value of $12 for the city’s coffers if it had to find its own space.
Is this a small thing? Absolutely. But the fact of the matter is that the city is giving away revenue to a motorcycle festival which many people find to be nothing more than an incredibly loud inconvenience on a weekend that would otherwise be quiet.
As always, I continue praying for rain.