Big-Time Parking Tax

After today's column was published, a valet operator called to "remind" me the city also has a 20 percent tax on parking fees. TWENTY PERCENT.

I hadn't forgotten, but it fell outside the scope of the column.

I also could have mentioned the near-destruction of all free parking around the city, in neighborhoods. The ones I am familiar with now all have two-hour parking limits, making it almost impossible to park (if you can find a space), walk to a restaurant, eat, walk back to your car, in less than two hours. That's not "dining," it's fast food.

The city claims the two-hour limit frees up spaces. My opinion is that it does not, it's merely a revenue-generator and agita-producer for the "prosperous" citizens who manage to afford a car.

It would be different if Philly has a fast, efficient mass transit system, but we do not. Constant budget cuts have reduced Septa's service, making driving a better option.

Oh, yes! Bicycles! Tell me how that works when it's cold or wet or you are over the age of 50 or have to go more than 4 miles or there's more than two of you.

P.S.: Happily, I don't own a car. I will buy one only after the city's punishment of productive citizens (taxes, fees, lousy schools, declining services) drives me (pardon the pun) to the suburbs.