City needs to restore 19 parking spaces

To the editor:

Anyone who has been following the issue of parking on East College Street is aware of how vital accessible parking is to our businesses and their patrons.

Businesses throughout the business district, and especially those along East College, have seen their sales revenue decline markedly since construction began of the new hotel. The on-street parking spaces temporarily removed must be restored. This was the message from a crowd of business owners and residents who filled the chambers at the recent city council meeting. They came because city staff believed a parking “solution” was to install seven parking spaces in place of the previous 19. We must do better.

Negotiations in the past few days involving city staff, college representatives, the planning commission chairman, and myself have begun to formulate a solution that will not only restore the 19 spaces but may actually increase the available parking. Our community has always provided public on-street parking and it is relied upon by residents and businesses alike. The city manager has asked that council formalize that policy and I wholeheartedly agree.

Councilman Bryan Burgess