Of course, one of our hopes upon returning home would be to discover that all the various issues swirling around Cooperstown would have been solved in our absence. Unfortunately, that does not seem to be the case. In fact, we think, based on reports we have heard, that the village has even more on its plate than it did when we left.
When it comes to the paid on-street parking, we must say we were not particularly surprised by the vehemence with which people have simply avoided Main Street in protest of having to pay to park. And while we expected the merchants would no doubt bear the brunt of such decisions, we were somewhat surprised by the reports of losses from the various businesses.
Such losses are, of course, most troubling. But we also believe that the village’s reputation as a welcoming destination for visitors has also taken a hit. And that is also indeed troubling. We do not like to read, in what was otherwise a very positive online review of Stagecoach Coffee posted on July 7, the following:
“Word of warning though ... parking in Cooperstown is difficult. We parked in a spot that appeared to be free (no meter in front or sign to be seen). But 15 minutes later we had a $35 ticket because we parked in a spot that was apparently a two hour PAID Parking. After further inspection we finally found a sign several cars down and not easily visible. Would have stayed for dinner but felt that after that expensive ticket Cooperstown wasn’t getting any more of our money.”
To pay $2 an hour to park seems high to begin with. But when poor signage results in a parking ticket, the cost of parking in Cooperstown becomes even more egregious. And it is certainly not the welcome we would like our visitors to have.