A couple of doors down from Savor New York is Reid’s Barbershop. Rumors spread around town this week that the shop is going out of business because of paid parking, but those rumors were untrue. “I’m not going out of business because of paid parking,” owner Reid Nagelschmidt said, “but it is definitely hurting me. I’ve been down about $150 a day.”
Berstler stressed that she has been supportive of the paid parking plan, going so far as to request a meter outside her store on upper Main Street, for the convenience of her customers. However, she said she thinks $2 an hour for parking is too expensive.
“I think people are having sticker shock,” she said. “Outside of New York City, I don’t know any place that charges $2 an hour for parking.”
Added Lemister, “Local people are not city people. City people may be used to paying for parking. Up here people are not that way. People are more independent up here. They are not going to pay for parking. It has become a matter of principal for them.”
The business owners say they are coping with the changes. Stagecoach Coffee, which is on Pioneer Street, put out a message on its Facebook page reminding its customers that there are free 15-minute parking spaces near the business. They are also pushing the sales of the permits.
“We just wanted to extend a warm invitation to our local customers,” the message read. “We miss you.”
At Rudy’s there are two signs on the front door and another on the cash register offering coins for the meter. At Savor New York, Berstler is handing out sacks of quarters to reimburse customers who spend more than $25. For Father’s Day, she offered free parking for anyone who bought a tie. Validating parking is something lots of businesses do, she said.