Meter Melee: Meh
Talk about Bloomington’s downtown parking meters has largely died down as we approach the one-year anniversary of their installation.
The City Council and Mayor Mark Kruzan approved the meters last spring and workers set them in concrete in August. Blowback was swift and angry. Flyers showing pictures of Kruzan and the six council members who voted for the meters were plastered up all over town and warned that they’d suffer mightily come the 2015 election.
Now, it’s a good bet Kruzan et al will have to worry more about some other hot button issue next year as they run to keep their jobs. It’s doubtful, of course, that the meters will be uprooted any time soon, considering they’ve funneled bushels of cash into city coffers. Indianapolis Business Journal reported in March that meter revenue had passed the magic million-buck mark.
Meters Mean Money
The Bloomington Chamber of Commerce is about to release results of a survey it conducted about downtown parking. The survey collected impressions from shoppers, downtown employees, and business owners. Bean counters from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and the Center for Survey Research are even now massaging the numbers. The CofC may release results of the survey this month.
We’ll see. Some biz owners downtown wonder if the CofC might contemplate canvassing the assorted restaurants and shops to determine if and how much their revenues have dropped off since the meters went on-line. The whisperers have it that any number of downtown businesses have suffered a 25 percent drop off.
The Herald Times in October ran a three part-series on the meters, leading off with the report that they were a “bust” for downtown businesses. That first story, though, offered up only anecdotal evidence that shops and restaurants around the square were suffering.
A minus-25 percent sales comp could be a death sentence for a small business owner. That is, if the figures being bandied about are true. It’d behoove the Chamber to dig up some more dependable figures. Someone has to ask business owners what their numbers were both before and after meters. If the 25 percent thing is an exaggeration, jangled nerves could be calmed and potential new businesses would be more prone to open up shop around the Square.
On the other hand if the CofC chooses not to find out and release those comps, it might be because the rumors are all too true.
The next entry in our Big Talk online/print/radio interview series has been committed to zeroes and ones. I sat down with local author Julia Karr on Friday. We spoke for about an hour and I learned, among other things, that a squadron of police officers once rifled through her apartment in a fruitless search for a huge, hairy, scary spider.
Expect to hear the eight-minute Karr feature on WFHB’s Daily Local News sometime later this month. The full interview will run about the same time in The Ryder magazine. And stay tuned here for exact running dates and times as well as links to both.
You go, girl!
Men, Kinsey’s National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior tells us, masturbate far more frequently than do women, natch. I mean, golly, it’s there, right? Anyway, a significant majority of women in this holy land engage in America’s pastime within the range of Not-in-the-past-year to A-few-times-per-month-to-weekly whereas a preponderance of my brethren do it in the range of A-few-times-per-month-to-weekly to >4-times-per-week.
And here’s a fascinating factoid: One respondent swore he kept an Google spreadsheet to record all his ballgames. No word on whether or not any woman is so meticulous in recording each and every scratch of her itch.
As an added bonus, FiveThirtyEight reveals that there are 519 euphemisms for male masturbation. In the interest of equal time, I found that there are at least more than 370 such verbal codes for female self-play. Women, it’s time to catch up.