Addressing parking problem is past due

Published 12:01 am Sunday, February 24, 2008

Downtown parking had been debated for years, and to date I am not sure there really is a plan to solve it.

Groups have met to discuss business owners parking in front of their stores, business owners complain of the loss of business which dictated laying off some employees, one restaurant owner stated that he no longer opened for lunch because patrons had nowhere to park.

On and on this rhetoric continues and with the construction of several hotels, with hopefully adequate parking spaces, where will they park if a large number decided to shop downtown.

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At one time there was conversation about storeowners and employees parking at the Visitor Center and transportation would be provided to drop them at their business establishments.

In theory this may be a plausible idea. Since we don’t have the trolley cars in operation to take shoppers around town that might be another alternative.

Everybody knows we have a parking problem and more to come, but to my knowledge, and others, where is the solution? Suggestions have been offered to have parking fines and a part-time officer to work the beat. Will this deter the parking problem?

An editorial two years ago states “perhaps the payment of tickets would help fund a new parking solution for downtown, whether that’s a garage or a new lot.”

When Waste Management moves from Wall Street perhaps one parking solution would be to turn the lot into a well-lit parking area.

Just a suggestion, but city leaders we are at the juncture that we knew would happen years ago and we still aren’t prepared.

Jim Sanders

Natchez resident