Bad Public Policy 101

Would I be pissed off if I paid $90 to park by Fenway and the game got canceled? Absolutely. Does this mean city council president Michael Flaherty's plan to have parking lots give vouchers for canceled games is a good idea? Not a chance.

Think about it: parking rates are obscenely high for Sox games, and traffic in the Fenway is nightmarish. What the city should be doing is creating disincentives to drive in--say, by offering subway and commuter rail discounts. This would A) restore some sanity to the neighborhood and B) bring prices down for those who still insist on driving. By mandating vouchers, though, the city would actually be removing one of those disincentives--i.e., the fear that you'll spend a shitload to park for a game that never takes place.

The voucher plan was pretty popular at today's council meeting. No surprise there--it's just the kind of thing that promises to play well come election time. Credit Sam Yoon, though, for drawing a connection between affordable-housing issues and Flaherty's voucher plan. As Yoon correctly noted, Flaherty's proposal is based on a conviction that the city has a right to regulate transactions involving private property. And credit Yoon as well for noting that housing issues should probably be taking priority over protecting boneheads who inexplicably insist on driving to Sox games. (Those are my words, not his; what Sam actually said was, "My heart bleeds more, I guess, for others that are similarly feeling the effects of not having land. The root causes are the same--lack of space.")
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