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Reader's views: Car towing is no way to attract tourists

When I read the article about towing in Canal Park ("Parking posse watching you," Sept. 1), I couldn't help but wonder: Is this Duluth's latest interpretation of Minnesota Nice? What are these people thinking? If there is any area of Duluth depen...

When I read the article about towing in Canal Park ("Parking posse watching you," Sept. 1), I couldn't help but wonder: Is this Duluth's latest interpretation of Minnesota Nice? What are these people thinking? If there is any area of Duluth dependent on tourism and goodwill it has to be Canal Park.

First the city did away with most of the free parking to generate revenue and because downtown merchants were complaining about business lost to Canal Park merchants. Did we hear anything about what might be good for the tourists? Now a towing company has been unleashed to manage a parking lot. I prefer to say this company has been given a towing license to prey upon the hand that feeds.

What next? Perhaps roadblocks could be set up to extract payments from tourists as they leave town; after all, didn't they drive upon Duluth's streets while they were here? The action could surely be justified as a way to fund our police department in order to make Duluth safer for the tourists.

I think it's tragic that more people in Duluth can't seem to think in a positive and welcoming manner. The parking situation in Canal Park is a difficult issue. But if the goal of being attractive to tourists was kept in mind the results might be quite different. Let the merchants affected by this tow lot remember there is nothing in their shops that can't be found elsewhere. Is it a good idea to prey upon their customers? What might happen if a nice note was left on the windshield of offending parkers inviting them to shop rather than towing their cars?

Alex Keller

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Duluth

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