Is it Stockholm Syndrome? Have we come to enjoy, in some kinky way, being abused by the blue robometers that guard parking spaces in downtown Salt Lake City? A survey done by the Downtown Alliance would seem to indicate that despite the unrelenting bitching you hear echoing through the streets—victims are OK with the system.
Or at least we submit to the blue overlords. (BTW, reports in the Trib that people "really like" the Blue Meanie meters is a stretch.)
Though the goals of a $10,000 survey down by the Downtown Alliance included "Determine the general sentiments and opinions about parking in downtown Salt Lake City," the 30 questions asked of Davis and Salt Lake county residents did not include anything like:
"Do you delight in the city's extension of paid street parking to 8 p.m.?"
Or "How does it feel in the pit of your stomach to see a slip of paper under your wiper when you return to your car after supporting your favorite downtown restaurant?"
Or "Do you feel like letting the air out of Mayor Ralph's bike tires after squinting at a tiny gray screen to enter your space number, then waiting forever for the meter to process your payment, and then, find that no primate (except perhaps a spider monkey) could contort its fingers under that little gate to retrieve the receipt?"
The best the survey did in identifying "sentiments and opinions" about parking downtown is that 70 percent of victims found the electro-meters "easy to use" and only 18 percent found the process difficult—and that parking was a minor reason given by the rubes who haven't been downtown in the last year.
Jason Mathis, DTA director, acknowledged the gaps in the survey, saying the booster group took for granted that no one likes parking hassles: "The best we can hope for is that people don't dislike [the new system] intensely."