After 25 years, the Cherry Creek Shopping Center is finally charging for parking (after the first hour, and not counting some store validations) in a program called Smart Parking. In response to this not-so-smart move, Teague Bohlen offered "Eight More Money-Making Ideas for the Cherry Creek Mall" — but readers quickly ticketed him for violations. Says Tam:
You are missing the point. Paying for parking probably will not generate money for the mall. It will, however, keep out shop employees who parked there all day and worked in Cherry Creek North. Parking spaces take up land, which is too valuable a resource to use to park acres of cars. If you have lived in any great city (San Francisco, New York, Chicago), you would expect to pay something to park close to a shopping destination, or else you would take public transportation.
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Try walking or biking to the mall. You won’t have to pay for gas or parking, you can park your bike really close to your entrance, you’ll burn calories and you can laugh at all the schmucks in their cars as you pass by enjoying the fresh air. Infrastructure for vehicles isn’t free, and no, your gas taxes don’t pay for it all, so if you’re going to drive, you’d better be prepared to pay something to support your bad habit.
And then there's this from Sherry: Remember, parking is a privilege, not a right.
And if you're that privileged, just valet.
What do you think of the Cherry Creek mall's Smart Parking program?