Parking Study Is In
August 26, 2008
My compliments to Kurt Begalka at the Northwest Herald and whoever, if not Kurt, waded through the 99 pages of the parking study. Be sure to read Kurt's article in today's (August 26) Business section of the Northwest Herald.
Let's hope that the City Council chambers are packed on Tuesday evening, Sept. 2, when the Study is presented to the Council. It was probably a pretty smart move to release it early and to post it on the City's website at www.woodstockil.gov That way people can read it and get to their doctors for a refill of their blood pressure medication before Tuesday's meeting.
If you can't (or don't) make it Tuesday night, drop by Stage Left Cafe on Wednesday, Sept. 3, at 8:00AM. Or maybe make both of them.
Consultants Rich and Associates will tell you that there are 1,988 parkings spaces within the 25-block area (25 blocks???) that they studied. BUT only 76% of them (1,507) are available to the general public.
Well, Mr. Mayor, Members of the City Council and Mr. Clifton, it's those 1,507 public parking places that customers of the merchants are interested in. That's what this study should have been about!
The consultants considered that peak parking time was 12:00-1:00PM and that there were still more than 400 parking spaces available. I hope they'll have an interactive map Tuesday night and be able to show exactly where those spaces are!
"The development of additional parking is not required at this time." Tell that to Brian Loprino at the Public House, Dick and Bob at the barbershop, Dr. Emmons (the dentist), Home Elements, and any other merchant on the Square.
And get this! If the movie theater expands and brings 100,000 additional people to the Square? Only a minimal impact on parking. Give me a break!
The consultants suggest allowing commercial vehicles to double park for short period as long as they don't interfere with traffic. That's an oxymoron, for sure. Do they mean, like, on Dean Street next to Angelo's (where I have suggested the City create (and enforce) a Loading Zone for trucks to park at the curb while they unload)?
And don't miss the revenue generator - "consider requiring new and/or expanding businesses on the Square (hint, hint - the movie theater) to provide for their parking or pay a fee-in-lieu-of for any spaces they are short of the requirement." (Quoted from the Northwest Herald, although the language is probably buried in the study somewhere.)
Why didn't they just suggest a monorail? After all, doesn't Vision 2020 call for a Disney-like downtown?
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