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In the discussions of the proposed Spreckels parking garage one group has been ignored: the thousands of San Diego residents who attend concerts in the adjacent Spreckels Organ Pavilion.

These concerts are sponsored by the Twilight in the Park Committee and the Spreckels Organ Society and are attended by an estimated 100,000 San Diegans per year. Many attend again and again over the course of a year, unlike those who might visit the park only once or twice a year.

When John D. Spreckels donated the organ and pavilion to San Diego in 1915, he stipulated that all concerts must be free to the public. This provision has been honored in the intervening century. Charging for parking in the proposed adjacent garage would violate the spirit of this stipulation: Yes, you can attend the concert for free as long as you pay for parking. A informal survey of some attendees at a Twilight Concert indicated that none would attend if a five dollar fee were imposed. The imposition of this fee would decimate attendance at these concerts.

The Twilight in the Park Concerts, which just celebrated their 30th anniversary, serve one to two thousand or more people at each concert. These concerts are free because the bands and the committee generously donate their time. The audience comes from all walks of life: old and young, able and disabled. Many are seniors on fixed incomes for whom a five dollar fee would be a hardship. I urge providing free, or at least low-cost, parking for those using the Spreckels Pavilion.

Gordon Uber lives in Clairemont.

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