Featured Post

Free The Hostages! Bring Them Home!

(this is a featured post and will stay at the top for the foreseeable future.. scroll down for new posts) -------------------------------...

Aug 27, 2015

Fee Parking in Bet Shemesh

A Guest Post by Dr. Harold Goldmeier

Parking on many commercial streets and in public parking lots in Bet Shemesh is no longer free.  A few business owners tell me they were never polled or consulted.  It seems neither neighborhood nor economic impact studies were done prior to the Mayor instituting the pay for parking program.  The story is told best in pictures.

The Ramat Bet Shemesh-A commercial center used to be a balagaan with cars. Many drivers double parked, took two spots for one car, cars were left parked for days, and employees of stores and offices in the RBS center captured the spots closest to shopping for themselves. Customers were forced to walk blocks from wherever they found parking. Drivers trying to capture an open parking spot threatened pedestrians. Pay for parking has made the RBS center a more safe place to walk, ride a bike, and park your car without fear of damage from drivers squeezing three cars into two spots.

Here's the problem. The reason fee for parking works so well is because people have an aversion to pay for parking. All ready in their cars they can shop in areas where parking is free. For example, go to Osher Aad for groceries and shop in the adjacent mall stores in the cavernous free lot.

Sales I estimate headed downward in double digits in RBS center stores, since pay for parking was introduced. People are losing their jobs and businesses are moving elsewhere. Neighboring residents have lost their parking on residential streets. Business will only worsen for RBS center shoppers and storeowners when the new RBS mall opens across the street. A parking lot is being built like at BIG with free parking for shoppers.

Finally, the litter, dirt, and deterioration of RBS-A center have exacerbated. This is not only the fault of the City administration.  Storeowners and landlords take no responsibility for cleaning the high traffic areas, planting flowers, repairing broken and filthy public benches, sprucing up the place to make shopping a more pleasant experience. If there is a local chamber of commerce it is a failure.

There is a field of study called City Planning that appears lacking as a resource to decision makers and stakeholders the rapidly growing City of Bet Shemesh. Residents and entrepreneurs are the ones who suffer the consequences. There are options to saving commercial city centers as an alternative to the "malling" of Bet Shemesh and slum-like environment.

Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel


  1. Uhmmm do you have any evidence for this statement:
    Sales I estimate headed downward in double digits in RBS center stores, since pay for parking was introduced. People are losing their jobs and businesses are moving elsewhere.

  2. Also, you know that this is Bein Hazmanim time. Its always going to me more filthy when people are on vacation with a thousand kids around. But this is the MO of this website (Beit Shemesh Iryah bashing) so not surprising

  3. How do all the other cities make it (paid parking in the dense central areas) work?

    1. They don't make it in old city centers unless they make many changes and offer tremendous incentives. Google the issue and see in pictures how it's done, but it takes planning and resolve.

  4. I personally love it.
    I had to go to the bank for ten minutes. I found a spot right away. Parked took care of what i needed and left all for the stiff price of half a shekel. I would definitely rather pay that amount then have to circle and look for a spot and find one on the other side of the merkaz.

    I also find it hard to believe that people are going to shop elsewhere because they have to pay. just to get to osher ad and back will cost the same in gas as parking for an hour. seems like a strange claim.

    also I would tend to think that a majority of the store's business is from people that don't have cars. not sure why, but that is the feeling i get.
    (and one more point, anybody that doesn't want to pay the 4 shekel an hour for parking can park on the end of nachal shacham. just one flight of stairs away, you can pretend it is a free parking lot downstairs in the mall .

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I agree with you, but we are swimming against human nature regarding pay for parking, and worse, the dirt and litter--not necessarily the City's fault. Shopkeepers have a big responsibility for this mess.The downstairs parking lots are hardly welcoming especially to women; they (the lots not the women) are finster, smelly, and creepy. The best is the Best parking lot, but drivers rather double and triple park and park on the pedestrian way rather than drive up a flight.

  5. another issue is the fear of getting a ticket even if you paid. sure it might be a wrongful ticket, and you would be able to fight it, but who wants to risk it, especially as fighting it could require you to spend time and money appealing the ticket,. it is easier to park ina malls lot than to pay for parkign with risks that pango didnt work right, you forgot to press the start button, you forgot to turn pango off, the meter maid didnt check properly if you paid via pango, etc


Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...