Perfect parking solution bound to arise soon

Published 12:02am Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Most of us have circled a business a time or two, hard-headedly looking for the perfect parking spot. Sometimes they materialize; sometimes we give up and settle for a walk.

Perceived parking challenges in downtown Natchez seem nearly as old as some of the streets themselves.

Residents have long griped about a lack of downtown parking. “There’s nowhere to park,” the cries have been made for years.

Others have complained that some shop owners and workers foolishly use the most convenient parking spots in front of businesses rather than leaving them for customers.

In some ways the parking problem is one of perception. We, as a society, are just too lazy to park and walk, particularly in small towns.

We’ll walk a mile to get to a college football game or something we want to do, but there’s a perception that permeates downtown that we should be able to drive right up to the door of whatever it is we seek.

In the latest parking wars skirmish, a few downtown restaurant owners are interested in having the City of Natchez designate certain public parking spots as pick-up only spots during lunch hours.

The idea is the restaurants could do more take-out business if parking were more convenient for customers.

We encourage the discussion of a possible solution. Opening up the dialog between business and government is always a good thing.

However, city leaders need to take care in making any changes to parking laws and consider how they can be fair to other, non-restaurant businesses that may also want customers to have quick-access parking as well.

With enough people talking and keeping an open mind, a solution is bound to materialize at least as quickly as the elusive perfect parking spot does from time to time.