The new parking regulations in downtown Hudson are, quite frankly, outrageous and shortsighted. I am not completely sure why the meters were taken away and pay parking enforced in previously free areas, but I suspect it has something to do with generating a profit. If this indeed is the goal of this transition, then I believe the city is being extremely shortsighted.
I understand having to pay for parking in certain areas, but the library is not one of them. Libraries are one of the few areas in society where you are not expected to spend money in order to exist in that space. The pursuit of knowledge and community-connectedness is not something that should ever have a price tag that individuals need to pay in order to achieve.
Many of us may not understand the impact of fifty cents or a dollar on someone’s life, but for those experiencing homelessness, or severe illness, or financial instability, those fifty cents can create a world of difference. Having to pay for parking in a public area like the library is a privilege that drives away those of a lower socioeconomic status who depend on these places for cultural and community connection.
This may seem like a nominal issue, but in our car-driven society, we depend on parking as much as we depend on the public commodity of sidewalks and roads.
Making parking inaccessible to some, especially around public areas that are meant for all, creates disparity and conflict throughout the community.