When I went to do some shopping at The Walk earlier this month, (or rather to watch my wife and daughter shop,) I was happy to see that the new parking garage looked nearly ready to open. To me, the limited supply of public parking has always been the missing piece in an otherwise great idea.

The outlet shops at The Walk are well-kept, inviting and always seem to have some great bargains. Walking around that part of the city, and maybe stopping for lunch, is a great way to spend some time.

I solved the parking problem for myself by signing up for a casino courtesy card that lets me park for $5.

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So I was disappointed when I saw what the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority plans to charge for parking at the garage.

$3 for an hour? $7 for eight hours on weekday, going up to $10 on a weekend? Seems as though the Atlantic City tradition of nickel-and-diming visitors is alive and well.

I thought somebody would realize that parking is just another way to market the city. A low rate will bring in more people who will do more shopping and leave behind more money.

At the very least, the parking rate should be set at something cheaper than what I pay at my casino garage.

I like what letter-writer Richard Pust of Ventnor suggests in Tuesday’s (March 20) paper: Offer free parking for people who spend $25 at The Walk. Or why not let stores validate for a parking discount?

After all, the idea is to help Atlantic City businesses thrive, not make a killing on the parking garage, right?


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