Take action on parking issue now

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 30, 2006

Several years ago, Hollywood brought us the film &8220;A Field of Dreams&8221; in which a Midwestern farmer built a baseball diamond in the middle of his corn field. A voice told him, &8220;If you build it, they will come.&8221;

The fictional neighbors thought the man had lost his mind, but he built the baseball field in the middle of nowhere anyway.

Soon, the field became populated with Major League Baseball players of yesteryear. Eventually thousands of people were flocking to the corn field to see the legends of baseball play again.

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Fiction? Absolutely.

Does it contain a bit of a lesson for Natchez? Sure does.

For years, downtown merchants, city leaders and residents have pondered and mulled the subject of downtown parking. We&8217;ve formed committees; we&8217;ve developed plans; we&8217;ve studied all the options. We&8217;re at the point of needing to take action.

Several years ago, the parking &8220;problem&8221; was a &8220;hey folks, we&8217;re going to have an issue on our hands soon.&8221; Today, the need for a parking solution is much more real and much more of a &8220;now&8221; issue.

No one is whispering, &8220;If you build it, they will come.&8221; They&8217;re here and the need is growing day by day. We need to identify and develop additional parking spaces now, before the cars &8212; and the money within them &8212; just drive on past downtown.