Craig’s Commentary 3-5
Rob Gowan (March 4 Owen Sound Sun Times) reported:
“The [Sauble] chamber has gathered statistics from the town on paid parking and they are showing that the increase in rates is not leading to an increase in revenue. Between 2009 and 2010, when the rate increased from $10 per day to $15 per day, the amount generated through the town’s ticket dispensers actually dropped from more than $230,000 to just over $200,000.”
This is terribly misleading. If you look only at 2009 and 2010 data, it indeed might appear that higher daily parking rates give lower revenues. But you can’t just pick the data that you like and ignore the rest. It’s called data cherry-picking. You need to look at all the data.
And if you look at all the data, the picture is quite the opposite of what Mr. Gowan claims.
Pardon the science, but for those who are keen, here is the data properly presented.
Figure 1 is a line chart of revenues from dispensers and daily rates.
The pattern is clear. The higher the daily parking rate, the higher the revenues.
Figure 2 is the same data presented in what is called an x-y chart.
The line on the x-y chart is called the linear regression line. That it is upward sloping means that when daily rates go up, generally revenues from dispensers go up.
The value labeled R2 on figure 2 is called the correlation coefficient. If the data points were all right on the upwardly sloping the, the correlation coefficient would be one. It would mean that revenues were perfectly correlated with daily parking rates.
The actual correlation coefficient is fairly weak, indicating that there are other things besides daily rates that affect revenues. (Like weather, gas prices).
But regardless, what is clear is that the data, that is all the data, indicate that revenues increase as daily parking rates increase.
In addition, the data (figure 3) are clear that the higher the parking rate, the fewer cars there are paying for parking.
This means fewer cars parked on our streets. And fewer tourists on the beach. And lower cleanup costs. And lower law enforcement costs. Surely these are good things.
So the data, properly analyzed, suggest that if we raise daily parking rates, we will generate more revenue, and we will have lower beach cleanup costs, (both of which mean lower taxes), and as a bonus we will have fewer cars parked all along our streets, and less litter, and fewer people on the beach, and less noise.
Higher parking rates are saving us money and helping us get our community back. (Killing the Sauble sewers project got us much of the way there.)
In asking for lower parking rates, the tourist industry is in effect asking for us to pay more taxes, and is asking for another handout from all the residents of TSBP.
The residents are entitled to have their taxes go into legitimate services. The residents are entitled to have their money not forcefully taken from them and given to commercial interests. The residents are entitled to choose whether or not they wish to donate to the tourist industry.
Council is not authorized to choose for us.
Council should reject the proposal to lower parking rates.
Council should raise daily parking rates instead.
Town of South Bruce Peninsula