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It has been said if people are complaining then change must be taking place, especially when it involves any governmental agency.

The changes being made to the Depot and more specifically to Railroad Street have the business owners upset over the loss of parking.

A recent meeting with city officials and Railroad Street business owners have convinced officials to go back to the drawing board.

At least that is what they said. I am not convinced that this is not already a done deal and several people I have talked to feel the same.

I was not in town when this entire project, including the courthouse was on the planning board so I will reserve judgment as to the thought process that went behind it.

Suffice it to say, I do not feel there should be discussion how we are going to get to the courthouse when it is already under construction. That is the reason why I suspect the decisions have been made.

I asked City Administrator Don Powers why most of the parking was taken away from the taxpayers. I felt like the angled parking should be on the business side of things, not in front of the Depot. He said the angled parking is on the south side to keep the street straight.

Currently there are 96 spaces on the street. The current blueprint shows the same area will lose 21 spaces. The addition of a small lot in front of the courthouse that will have 21 spaces and the net result is zero loss.

If the angled parking were to move to the north side, my unofficial count has parking, including those on Greenway Street, increasing to 105 spaces with a slight angle of the street so it would square up with Greenway St.

I am not suggesting I am smarter than the two engineering firms that took a look at the project. However, it seems to me too much emphasis was placed on it being appealing to the eye rather than functionality as it relates to the businesses.

I see a lot of senior citizens go into Ivery's Restaurant and I get a lot that visit us at The Mirror. Right now, I view this area as a parking lot in the sense that there is no other reason to take Railroad Street unless you are coming to one of the businesses or the Depot.

All that is going to change when the courthouse opens and the traffic will increase drastically.

I hope I am wrong and that our city officials will really take another look at the current plans. I also trust they will make the best decision for all concerned.

Web posted on Thursday, April 29, 2010

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