To the Editor:
Was I the only Bar Harbor resident taken aback by the claim in a letter regarding Bar Harbor’s proposed parking plan to last week’s Islander that we “will get for free …13 hours of (free) parking all over town from 8 p.m. to 9 a.m. … seven months of free parking from mid-October until mid-May … some ‘residents only’ free parking spaces as well as 15-minute free parking in key places” and the ability “to park on all the streets that are not paid parking by displaying our resident stickers …”?
This seemed to me an egregious case of spin. Don’t we already have “for free” every one of those things and more?
So to put it honestly, it should have read more like: “First let me tell you what you will lose. You will lose your free parking all over town for 11 hours per day from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m., the prime of every single day … you will lose five months of free parking from mid-May until mid-October … you will lose all free parking spaces in downtown Bar Harbor except for a few ‘residents only’ free spaces in a few locations. You will no longer be able to park on all streets that are not paid parking without displaying a resident sticker.”
In fact, there is not a single thing offered in Bar Harbor’s new parking plan that Bar Harbor residents “get for free.” We only lose things that we already pay for with our tax dollars and don’t cost us additionally.
This is not to state an opinion about the plan itself. I have not yet come to a decision on the matter. It’s certainly better than the plan presented to us last year. Rather, this is a comment on how the plan’s been presented by its developers, both last year and this.
We residents are not stupid. We know the difference between receiving and losing things. I believe that a parking management plan is necessary. It may be necessary to implement a paid parking plan. But to sell it to us as getting free stuff is a high insult to our intelligence.
For goodness’ sake, give us more credit than that.