What does the government's pay parking program have in common with Count Dracula, the famous vampire? They both suck the blood of the pure and innocent and neither can be killed off short of a stake driven through the heart.
Many U.S. workers have been howling about pay parking since President Carter imposed it almost two years ago. The issue has gone to court, and a judge here finally agreed that the program was wrong because Carter had not consulted Congress before slapping fees of from $12 to $40 per month on parkers.
Uncle Sam has appealed the ruling. But it will be some time this fall before a higher court reviews the appeal. Meantime, parking fees for feds have been suspended. But not entirely, although they will be lowered for most people.
Effective April 1 (this is no April Fool joke) the government is supposed to stop charging people to park. And it will, up to a point. However, many will still have to pay a "parking maintenance fee" in agencies and buildings where contractors allot spaces, give out stickers, supervise parking or provide what is jokingly called security in some suburban lots.
At the Pulaski Building, for example, parkers had been paying $27.50 a month -- half the commercial rate. The judge's order was supposed to stop that. But workers have been told, effective April 1, they still will have to pay $6.50 per month as a "parking management fee." Other federal parking lots managed by contractors will charge similar parking management fees.