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Reader says key questions for garage or no garage need clear answers

walker report

file photo by Boyd Loving

The key questions for garage or no garage need clear answers.
1. What is the real situation with supply and demand of parking in downtown Ridgewood? There has been an abundance of sound and fury about how there is no shortage of parking and just as much about how often there are no parking spaces for consumers. We seem to have nothing more than anecdotal “evidence”. How about actual analysis?
2. How is parking used right now? How much of the parking is used by patrons of Rwood businesses, how much by commuters (resident and non resident), how much by employees of Rwood businesses?
3. How are the current parking spots allocated? Does the current allocation of dedicated employee parking work or is much of that parking going unused, putting a squeeze on available parking for consumers?
4. Which businesses could reasonably be expected to succeed or even grow in downtown Rwood? Will the trend toward restaurants and away from shopping continue?
5. Would a garage end up serving non-residents more than residents? If a garage were built, how could/should the parking fees and rules assure that the main benefit of the parking would go to Rwood taxpayers?
6. Bottom line – Is a garage needed or should the village reconfigure the existing parking?
7. What are the costs and benefits of running the current parking fee system? How much, if any, money is generated? Would Rwood be better off with free downtown parking (a system used by many surrounding towns)?
In my 24 years in Rwood, the village has spent huge sums studying the parking garage situation, without ever fixing anything. The money spent on studies over that time probably exceed the cost of building a parking structure. What a waste.

4 thoughts on “Reader says key questions for garage or no garage need clear answers

  1. The problem with “studies” is that they always seem to come out supporting the entity that paid for the study. See the study that showed that building huge apartment complexes will not add any children to the school system because they will be marketed to empty nesters. Or (my favorite) the one that showed that building apartment complexes will IMPROVE traffic conditions in the CBD because none of the residents will have cars and will take the train everywhere.

  2. Why do so many studies support the entity that paid for it? In the corporate world, consultants are often hired as cover designed to help the CEO “justify” a potentially unpopular or even risky decision. It is possible to hire consultants for a true analysis, but those consultants have a bias toward pleasing the customer, so they might have a chance of repeat business. In those cases, the consultants try to craft the opinion to match their perception of what the customer wants. Much of the process of pre-determining the outcome of the study comes from asking questions that steer the responder in the desired direction. That said, your average high school students could put together a useful set of questions and analyze the results. Perhaps we should get the AP Statistics class at the high school working on this.

  3. The ease with which some of you smear paid professionals as unethical reminds me of the debate on the housing when someone allowed their child stand at the podium and tell the council that they must be corrupt and on the take. Just because people disagree with you doesn’t make them corrupt. They can be ethical and wrong. And so can you.

  4. There is no statement as to ethics, either good or bad, in the criticisms above of how organizations use outside consultants. When you make assumptions based on reading between the lines, your conclusions reveal more about your own ideas than about what you were reading.

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