Tuesday, March 21, 2006

This Just In...

Today's front page news!



SALEM CITY COUNCIL

City delays action on downtown parking
Plan to set 2-hour limits is put on hold until after a study

DENNIS THOMPSON
Statesman Journal

March 21, 2006

Salem will perform a comprehensive study of the demand for downtown parking before considering whether to put a two-hour limit on parking there, the City Council voted Monday.

The council also voted to delay completing the study until after the Marion County Courthouse reopens so its impact on downtown parking can be considered.

"Nobody seems to have an answer, but everyone has a concern," Council President Jim Randall said, agreeing to the delay suggested by Councilor Brad Nanke. "We need to get this right."

The study will provide a comprehensive assessment of downtown parking, including how much turnover takes place on the streets and how long cars park there.

In delaying the decision about two-hour parking, the council heeded the advice of both the Downtown Advisory Board and the CAN-DO neighborhood association. Both groups voted against imposing a two-hour limit without first proving that it was necessary and would work.

"I think it would be good to have someone from outside come look at it and give us some ideas," Mark Shipman, the chairman of the Downtown Advisory Board, told the council Monday.

Sylvia Dorney, the owner of Greenbaum's Quilted Forest and an advisory board member, told councilors that the two groups plan to hold their own parking forum in April.

The city initiated a two-hour parking limit along four south-downtown blocks in November, after business owners complained that people going to the Salem Conference Center were using all of the on-street parking.

The two-hour limit is in effect from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.

Councilor Frank Walker said he has walked the two-hour limit area and has found support for the policy.

"My own conversations with many of the business owners in that area is this program is working. The parking study is warranted, and we should proceed with it," Walker said.

He later added, "I don't think there's any high-level dissatisfaction with what we've done so far."

However, a staff report assessing the current two-hour limit noted several businesses that had concerns about the policy.

For example, two counselors with offices on High Street said they were worried about being able to complete psychological evaluations within the two-hour period.

Owners of salons, tattoo parlors and other establishments also have voiced concerns.

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The delay give those of us with serious concerns a chance to continue to organize and put together a working plan...
I've gone to and spoke at all of the city council meetings (the first speech was quite memorable as in nervous chatter I accidently stated {into a microphone and on CCTV} that I was picturing the city council and mayor naked, but that's another post, anything to make an impression I guess!) when parking was on the agenda....
Limits are fine, but a concession needs to be made for long term customers and/or paid parking w/valadation from retail establishments for "all day wanderers" need to be considered as well.

Yay for delays and studys and Horray for Can-Do and the Downtown Advisory Board!

posted by addict @ 9:04 PM |

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