The other day I was at an event where people were talking about parking in our city.
It's always interesting to me when people say - as they were here - that there's never anywhere to park downtown.
This week I've been downtown perhaps 3 times - and all 3 times I've found somewhere to park immediately.
Twice I parked across the street from City Hall on Pleasant St., where I find there usually is at least one space during business hours.
This morning I parked in the east NRA lot, which is where I usually park unless they are charging.
Sure sometimes there are potholes and a lot of puddles of water involved, but part of that lot is paved.
After some questioning, one of the people from the event I referenced above revealed that what she was looking for was a space right outside where she was going to shop.
Now that's another kettle of fish, isn't it?
She takes her neighbor shopping and the other woman can't walk very far.
Well, my mother is like that as well - and what we do is drop her off outside the store, find a place to park and meet her at the store. When we're ready to leave, we go get the car and pick her up outside the store.
This seems to be more a case of laziness than anything a parking garage or satellite parking could ever solve.
I admit that I rarely go downtown during an "event," but during Yankee Homecoming, or the River concerts or something, there was an important meeting at City Hall. I was forced to park all the way up by Kelley School!
What is that, 4 blocks away?
I lived in Boston for 20 years and never owned a car that whole time. If I needed to go somewhere in town, I mostly walked there. I walked to work. If I needed to go somewhere outside of town, I took the 'T.'
We don't have a rapid transit system here, of course (wouldn't that be amusing, though?), but I found that on trips where I was carrying stuff, taking a taxi was the easiest solution. Certainly cheaper than operating a car and trying to find a parking spot for said car.
That being said, I have found that I have gone from walking everywhere (or relying on mass transit) to pretty much driving everywhere. Even when there was bus service out here on the island that would have taken me right into town, I never used it.
Now it's gone due to a lack of participation.
Shame on me ... shame on us.
And don't forget that this garage everyone is talking about is basically a bus station with parking spaces above it.
Forget about analogies to Portsmouth; this is not Portsmouth. That city has a much bigger downtown with many more restaurants and businesses.
I have had a long discussion (about a year ago) with James Shanley about parking. He had some good and innovative ideas. He has studied this matter, along with others, extensively.
Both candidates have positions with which I both agree and disagree. You know I've said I'm not endorsing anyone for mayor and I'm not trying to do that now.
I've watched both these people closely in City Council and over the course of this blog I've noted things I've noticed about most of the councillors, including these two.
The debate is on the PortMedia website.
I don't envy you the choice you have to make.
2 weeks ago