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Mayor responds to parking questions

GUEST COLUMN

— —A key focus for the new lot at 22 Lincklaen St. is to meet the needs of visitors to our community who wish to shop and dine and need more than two hours. Historically, a number of those visitors received tickets for exceeding our two-hour, on-street parking which has a negative impact on our local business community.

A key to our community’s long-term financial health is to become more visitor friendly. The new lot has received extensive use during weekends and evenings, especially during special events, but is clearly under-utilized during weekdays. We will carefully evaluate the usage patterns for the new lot during its first full summer of operation this year and consider changes after we have more data.

—In tandem with the paid lot on Lincklaen Street, the village made improvements to the municipal lot behind the library which now has more than 100 free all-day parking spots. The most significant ongoing parking problem we have is with those who are employed in our downtown taking up spaces on the street and “rolling their cars” every two hours to beat the system.

If those persons parked in the Riverside Drive lot, dozens of spaces would be available for potential customers or residents making a quick visit to the village. This tendency to violate the rules would also pose a challenge to the idea of free short-term spaces in the Lincklaen Street lot. History tells us they would be filled by people who would exceed the intended limit.

—Lastly, “the village” (government) is comprised of people who devote a substantial amount of their time with the sole desire of serving our community to the very best of their ability. A classic example of this service is former Trustee Peggy Van Arnam who devoted countless hours to studying and addressing the thorny issues surrounding our historic parking problem. The Lincklaen Street lot was named in her honor at my suggestion in recognition of someone who acted to solve a problem where many others had only talked for decades.

We have no illusion that our parking problems are solved but we are deeply committed to working with the community for ongoing progress. While letters to the editor are a valuable source of public discourse, I would also note that direct feedback to the village office, which allows for a dialogue and expanded information on a topic, is an even better option.

Kurt Wheeler is the mayor of the village of Cazenovia. He can be reached at home at 655-9380 or via email at kwheeler@post.harvard.edu.

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