Parking Woes

By: Meryl Conant
By: Meryl Conant

Its a catch-22 -- you want a growing downtown. But then, you must deal with more cars. One Valley city is dealing with this very issue as we speak.

"It seems to me that we have more residents and more downtown owners of business than we have parking spaces," said Maggie O'Brien, a downtown Staunton business owner.

Monday night those merchants and residents told the city those concerns.

"A two-hour parking is not enough parking for people who are coming in to your town to spend the day and relax-- who wants to walk ten blocks and move your car and go back to the same place and try and shop," O'Brien said.

It's not only visitors who face parking woes -- Eric Stamer often can't find parking outside his catering company. That can be tricky when he has supplies to drop off.

"I call it a UPS -- I pull over, I put on my blinkers and I unload," Stamer explained. "If they can do it -- if you've every been down E. Beverley Street and one lane of traffic is blocked because you've got deliveries -- I deliver as well."

Both business owners worry more parking problems are in store.

Slated to open soon--condos in the old Y and a big screen in the Visulite Theater.

"I am a little concerns with the old y once those people come in and they've got their two cars," Stamer said.

"I think that the city jumps a little too fast for those tax dollars and they don't think about what they are going to do with the people and that parking," O'Brien added.

But Monday night the city was all ears. It plans on producing a report based on the meeting. It also plans to meet with neighbors living around the soon-to-be open Stonewall Jackson hotel and begin talks about parking problems in that area of the city.


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