This is the first in an ongoing series of posts all linked in succession so that you may follow from beginning to end.
Many years ago while delivering a used automotive engine for Greensboro Auto Parts I traveled to a small garage outside of a small town in the central part of the state. I was told no one would be there when I got there and to please put the engine inside the garage in case it should happen to rain.
My directions were good and I had no trouble finding the place but when I went to open the garage door it was locked as were the walk in doors. I looked around for a key under a rock, in a car, behind a bush, on top of the door and all the usual places I was used to finding keys to small garages but no key could be found. And as I had no cell phone I was quite perplexed.
I was trying to decide between leaving the engine just outside the door or bringing it back to deliver another day when I noticed something unusual-- a parking meter standing beside the driveway where there was no parking space. Naw, I thought, It couldn't be.
I walked to the parking meter, looked at it for a moment then turned the knob only to watch the garage door roll up and out of my way. A couple of minutes later, after putting the engine inside of one of the cleanest and nicest little shops I've ever seen I turned the knob, watched the door close and drove away.
So what has this got to do with Greensboro?
Well if I were Mayor of Greensboro I would push to eliminate parking meters just as Downtown merchants are wishing the City would do. Then I would hold a public auction, a gala event on a Saturday, to auction off those parking meters to people who might think of creative uses for old parking meters.
And with the money we got from the auction the City of Greensboro would help to fund a development of Tiny Houses as a place to house Greensboro's poor and homeless with the residents there being given the means to own those homes under the stipulation that said homes can only be owner occupied. No rentals.
Granted, it would take more money than the parking meters would bring but perhaps some appreciative downtown merchants and others would kick in.
The owners of these Tiny Homes would be free to improve their homes and sell them if they like but the owner-occupied stipulation would remain forever. In this way it wouldn't turn into a trailer park or a target for slum lords. And speaking of trailer parks-- these Tiny Homes would be set on permanent foundations with no wheels. Built in a factory in Greensboro, putting people to work, hauled to the site on trailers and set into position with a crane.
But I doubt I'll ever be Mayor of Greensboro so Downtown remains stuck with parking meters and the poor, unemployed and homeless.... Forever. Why, because not enough of you will read and share my solutions with others or write-in Billy Jones for Mayor of Greensboro. You see, most of you would rather just complain just as you've always done.
So what would you do with your parking meter if I became Mayor of Greensboro?
Perhaps some of our parking meters should be replaced with ponies to
make Downtown a better place for families to bring their children.
Or perhaps we could do as id being done in New York City and convert parking meters to bicycle racks but let's take it one step farther by having local artist design and build the racks so that no two are the same with corporate sponsors for every rack.
Please continue reading If I Were Mayor Of Greensboro: Part 2.