In the early days of the Christie Place garage, few Village residents were willing to pay the additional fee required to park there. Indeed, there were so few takers, the Village allowed commuters to swap their Freightway permits for Christie Place permits in order to generate buzz about the new garage.
Today, demand is so high that the Village is holding a lottery for the privilege of using the Christie Place garage from July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013. As a result, commuters who currently park at Christie Place may be forced to make alternative arrangements in the year to come, and many of them aren’t happy about it.
The increased demand for Christie Place parking permits has, undoubtedly, been driven by the construction project on Popham Road. It’s now harder than ever to get to and from the Freightway garage, both by car and on foot. Commuters who have opted for Freightway in the past because parking permits cost hundreds of dollars less than those for Christie Place are fed up with the time-consuming hassle, and they’re demanding spots in Christie Place. These demands pit historically budget-conscience residents with those who’ve been willing to pay a premium for the “right side of the tracks” convenience of Christie Place.
In an attempt to treat all of these commuters in a similar manner, the Village recently abandoned its practice of selling parking permits on a “first come, first served” basis in favor of a lottery. Although the previous system didn’t guarantee residents an ongoing right to park in the garage of their choosing, longtime permit holders were cognizant of the June 1 date for submitting a new application and, in general, were able to renew their permits from year-to-year. This year’s lottery, however, casts doubt on the value of the calendar-watching on which permit holders have relied in the past.
One commuter, who asked not to be identified, said that “the imposition of a lottery tells me that the Village doesn’t care that I’ve paid a $400 annual premium to park in Christie Place since 2009. If this decision was made by the Village Board, then our mayor and trustees apparently value equality over loyalty, and they’re out-of-touch with the mores of our community. My kids and I look forward to the elimination of the ‘adult only’ lap lanes at the municipal pool this weekend.”
Applications for parking permits will be accepted by mail from Friday, June 1 through 5 p.m. on Monday, June 10. A lottery to select applications is scheduled for Tuesday, June 12. The cost of an annual permit to park in Christie Place was recently raised to $1,450 (vs. $1,250 for 2011/2012). A permit to park in the Freightway garage during this period is $890 (vs. $840 for 2011/2012). Additional information is available on the village website .