Feb 10 2009 post–“Barking About Parking”

Posted on January 3, 2011

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(Oddly enough, after I posted this comment, the no-parking signs came down AGAIN.  I missed the diligent efforts at snow removal because i had to work to pay my new, improved property tax.  I came home to find that not only were the snow banks removed from Levan Street, but that my perma-snow had been removed right down to the pavement.  Isn’t it amazing–after the overtime for the BPW was removed, they are getting twice as much done, and they are doing it with courtesy and even kindness!  Who’d of thunk!

   Several years ago, the residents of Ward 9, district 1 spoke out loud and clear that we did NOT want Levan Street to be made alternate side of the street parking in winter.   “Missy”s Marchers” descended on the Common Council, placards in hands, and after two month of our persistant protests, Missy Elliot was told, in effect, that the Alternate Side of the Street parking signs would come down, if she could just shut me up.  Of course the taxpayers paid to paint all the signs and install them and then uninstall them again.  Taxpayers.  That is you and me–and we all know that it is all about me.

       Well, they’re baaaaaaack.   Different signs, but illegal for the same reason the original signs were illegal. From my porch I can see at least two reserved parking spaces for people with mobility challenges that are negated by the wooden-posted temporary “No Parking” signs that have been in place for this week.  Once again, medical doctors determine whether a person has a mobility challenge, not the Board of Public Works.  Unless I am gravely mistaken, none of the staff of the BPW or the Public Safety Committee of the Common Council has a medical license.

        And…..speaking of parking.    I try to keep this site for matters of concern to Ward 9, but if any Ward 9 residents have been shopping in Uptown Kingston lately they may have been as surprised as I was, last week, to find parking spaces open in the Pike Plan and its surroundings.    It took me longer than it should have to realize that Fitness Unlimited is out of business.

         It was over a decade ago that I distrubuted fliers in Uptown Kingston pointing out that FU was not a good neighbor and not a good business.     After they terminated my membership and then fraudulently withdrew another month’s membership from my checking account, I knew that this business did not reflect well on Uptown Kingston.  I now have a similar situation with Chase Bank, and they, too, are closing their Pike Plan branch this month.  And there will be even more parking available.

       Having a block-long stretch of empty storefronts is one way to alleviate a parking shortage, but it is not the best way.    Businesses that are rude, dishonest, and/or dissmisive to their customers will not retain those customers.  Unretained customers=failed businesses=lots of parking, and roosting spaces for pigeons.

        We are now debating what type of businesses we want to attract to the Broadway corridor in our Ward 9.   Above all, we should concern ourselves with the level of customer service.   That corridor serves an ecclectic mix of high school students and low-income seniors, along with the occasional nurses and doctors.   It has been reported that one of our “anchor stores”, a Walgreens, will open eventually where the historic trolley barn was demolished.   What business do we want between Rite Aid and Walgreens?  I suggested a custom bike shop that had the capacity to manufacture specialty bikes for persons with special needs.   Any other suggestions?   Expand the photocopy store to include stationery needs?   How about a dollar store that does NOT sell bongs?   Any other ideas?

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