The Start of A New Debate About the Future of Our Downtown ~ Annapolis Capital Punishment

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Start of A New Debate About the Future of Our Downtown

Various city officials and residents have apparently been "quietly" working on a plan to revamp downtown which will include a complete transformation of the popular City Dock area by eliminating its current use as a parking spot. This is terrific, and I recently wrote about the idea of a car-free downtown for Annapolis but Mayor Joshua Cohen announced that it all hinges on a plan to build a huge parking garage nearby--albeit underground. This would be a terrible mistake and defeat the purpose of everything else good in the plan.  I cannot understand how we could build a huge underground structure just steps from the waterfront.
Ward One Residents Association President Bevin Bucheister quickly penned a letter to Cohen saying, "The problem we have today is that we have enough parking but garages sit empty while people drive circles downtown looking for parking!"

She goes on to suggest alternatives by stating that many parking assets are already underutilized, mismanaged and poorly marketed, echoing the sentiments of many Annapolitans who have been involved in this ongoing debate.

"Installing signage near the stadium is not a new suggestion. I was on the Annapolis Parking Pricing Committee years ago and I believe this was one of our recommendations," said Buchesiter. "I've got to believe that with a new City Administration that has a good relationship with the State, and House Speaker Mike Busch and our delegation facing an election year, that the city can work with the state to get our parking situation organized enough to direct our many visitors to our empty garages.  At least two members of our Delegation should take a special interest in this, Senator John Astle who lives in Ward One, and Delegate Ron George, who owns a business on Main Street." 

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