Letter: Parking Solution?

I am not a native of Cold Spring so perhaps I see things that others do not. I do know that parking, especially on weekends, is at a premium. During the summer months and on weekends the Haldane School parking lots are vacant, leaving room for possible income for the town — at a dollar a car, anyone would be willing to walk up and down the hills of Cold Spring.

This came to me as I looked for a parking space.

Ruth Bilodeau, Cold Spring

One thought on “Letter: Parking Solution?

  1. Ms. Bilodeau’s thoughtful suggestion calls to mind an experience I had in (if memory serves) 2009. I had volunteered to organize the parking for what was then called the Community Day celebration (July 4). Thousands of visitors were expected to crowd the village for the celebration. We had made arrangements with Ken Kearney, who had generously offered to open up his property, the Marathon site, to allow for overflow parking. Unfortunately, heavy rains softened the ground, and we had to go to plan B.

    That plan almost exactly matches Ms. Bilodeau’s idea: we decided to route traffic to the Haldane lot, and to what was then Butterfield parking. We put signs up around the village directing drivers to the Haldane and Butterfield lots (after getting permission, of course). I monitored parking throughout the day of the event, frequently checking the designated overflow lots. I was astounded to find that almost no one used either the Haldane lot or Butterfield, despite the signs.

    The lesson I learned that day is that when the village fills up with visitors, drivers simply park as close as they can to the river, on the street, and simply park further and further from the river as necessary. Proximity is everything. And, the village has enormous capacity for vehicles (2,500 spaces, ignoring driveway spaces), which residents generally fail to acknowledge.

    I have argued many times that metering Main Street would be the best tool for managing parking, because it goes to the real issue, which is not physical capacity, but simple convenience. We learn during every big celebration that the Village can host many hundreds of cars, but not each and every one can park as close as they might prefer to where they want to be.