This past Sunday it was almost a miracle that I found close parking when I went for dinner with my family on Main street. Most days I do not even waste the time snaking my car around trying to find a place – I park down by the tennis courts.
If I had been a member of council back when Riverwalk Commons was envisioned I would have suggested including more parking spaces at the Water street entrance on both sides including a proper illuminated zebra crossing – allowing for enough time for vehicles to stop at the top of Prospect but also enough time for them to not get caught on the railroad crossing).
Having done this would have allowed for another 20+ parking spots and a much safer way to cross the street. Timed crossing is still an idea – but as for parking we need something else.
Back in 2014 and 2016 I had not just said that we need more parking or even where, which are the easy answers but I also looked at what sort of parking structure we should build.
The biggest challenge I see besides cost is how much damage such a huge construction project would cause to Main Street. There is no such thing as a parking pop-up that you can put up one weekend – any construction will be a massive disruption to the people and businesses on Main and surrounding streets.
The site where the parking structure is to be built (I suggest that the tennis courts be moved to the Fairgrounds Park) plus the yard surrounding it and all the heavy equipment running in and out is more or less the same nightmare the bloated and now stopped Clock Tower development would have been.
So rather than an old style brick and mortar design which will takes months and possibly seasons to construct once again I am looking to the future – which is actually old news all over Europe and the East.
We should look at one of these
Smaller footprint, way faster build time and also something NO one else around here has. Newmarket is a great town with little space surrounded by other towns with lots more acreage. We need to not just look outside of the parking box like our neightbours can but look across the oceans to how people elsewhere, also heavily strapped for space, have solved this issue. For the past decade.
And with this just one more way Newmarket is strong in tradition and preserving our history but also looks forward.