Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Parking Question

There's been a lot of speculation recently about the concept plans for the northwest corner of Lockport Street and Route 59. That corner lot is adjacent to the Route 59 parking lot, currently owned by the Village and contracted for purchase by the Library next year. Which brings us to the issue of parking.

Parking is a pivotal issue for any business in the downtown and particularly so for the Library.
The way the Village ordinances allow businesses to count parking in the downtown, all parking within 150' of the business' front door is counted, regardless of who owns it. This means that the spaces in the Route 59 parking lot could conceivably be counted by the proposed new office building on the corner, the Library, Plymouth Congregational Church, Baci, Tawny Tortoise - every business along Lockport Street. The point is, one parking space counted as parking for half a dozen different businesses is still a single parking space. The pressure on the downtown parking lots is increased as Library use continues to grow - averaging 10% more visits each year for the last five.

With the acquisition of the Route 59 parking lot, the Library will own a majority of the parking on the block. Being good neighbors is of utmost importance to the Library Board. The Library's parking lots will remain public for the foreseeable future, with the exception of designating some staff spaces. The Library will work with the Village and our neighbors to ensure that any changes to the parking lots balance the needs of the Library, the needs of our neighbors, and the commitment of the Village to provide public parking. That balance is not easy, or simple to achieve. But the Library Board's mantra is to be good stewards of the taxpayers' dollars and do the best we can with what we have. Finding that perfect solution may take some time, but I am confident that we can work together to get there.

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