Cooperstown Crier - Your Source for Hometown News - Cooperstown, Baseball Hall of Fame

May 30, 2013

To park or not to park ...

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Cooperstown Crier

---- — Every so often one’s plans go awry. And sometimes it is really rather disappointing. But every so often the opportunity arises to transform the situation into something which works out to be quite all right.

And such was the case with us last week. After voting in the school election, we decided, since we were already half way through the dreaded detour, we would continue on down to McDonald’s and procure a McWrap for our lunch.

On the way down we noticed a state trooper vehicle sitting in one of the driveways in wait for, we assume, a speeder. We didn’t think much of it until, on the way back to Cooperstown, it suddenly hit us that in all probability our car inspection had expired the end of April. We could not wait until we were able to turn into Smith Cooperstown where we knew help was available. Of course, since it was the lunch hour, it was not immediately available. However, we did not mind the short wait as it gave us the opportunity to enjoy, since we had our McWrap in hand, our first picnic of the season sitting outside on the bench in the sunshine. Granted, had we planned our first picnic of the season instead of having it just happen, we might have chosen a different site. But under the circumstances, we quite enjoyed it. Not only was it a delightful day, but the White Flash is now legal for another year.

We must admit being somewhat stunned by the plethora of activities that were available Memorial Day Weekend although we understand that some of them ended up being cancelled. Nonetheless, before the weekend, we spent much time puzzling as to whether anyone could actually take it all in as the opportunities including the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market, the Tailwaggers Yard Sale at the SSPCA, the Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Garden Plant Sale, the Heritage Plant Sale at the Farmers’ Museum, the Iroquois Cultural Festival at the Fenimore Art Museum, the “Wall That Heals” in the Doubleday Parking Lot, the Hall of Fame Classic Parade followed by the Hall of Fame Classic Game, the Joanne Shenandoah Concert at the Farmers’ Museum, the annual Clinton Canoe Regatta activities and the annual Veterans Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony. We thought not and were not even willing to give it the college try. In fact we limited our plans for the weekend to the Upper Pioneer Street Block Party which, given Mother Nature’s interference in the weekend, was moved from Saturday to Monday.

But we have to say, based on conversations we had with people before the weekend, the event that seemed to be on everyone’s mind, except ours of course, was the implementation of paid on-street parking. We must admit this was an issue with which we were not well versed. And it seemed that no one else was either. So we decided we would go to the village’s website and see what we might learn.

If we understand what is posted on the website paid on-street parking runs from the Saturday before Memorial Day through Labor Day. Paid on-street parking runs, on the north side of Main Street, from Pine Blvd. to River Street. On the south side of Main Street the paid parking runs from the entrance to the eastern most county parking lot to River Street. Paid parking is also in effect on both the east and west sides of Pioneer from Church streets to Stagecoach Lane.

Paid on-street parking is in effect seven days a week from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. The cost is $2 per hour available in 15 minute increments. It should be noted that, according to the website, “Each purchase is limited to a maximum of 2 hours of time although multiple purchases may be made in the course of a day.” We assume that means one would not have to move one’s car if one simply returns to the car and purchases an additional amount of time up to two more hours.

Fifteen minute and handicapped parking spaces are exempt from paid parking. And, for $25, anyone may purchase, at the Village Office, a permit that will exempt one’s vehicle from paying to park on the street. Such permits are not good for parking in the Doubleday Field Parking Lot.

As a result of our discussions with people about the new on-street paid parking, we have come to the conclusion that there are basically three different reactions to the new rules. Most people with whom we have spoken, have announced, in no uncertain terms, that they will not come to Cooperstown during the months there is on-street paid parking. Another group has declared that, while they will come to Cooperstown for essential errands, they plan to have a driver and an errand runner. And while the errand runner is running the errands, the driver will drive around instead of parking. The third group are those who are going to purchase a parking permit. This would, from our current perspective, seem to be the smallest group based on the fact that we have, as of now, only encountered one person who has actually done this.

There is, of course, a fourth group of people, into which we tend to fall, who feel they will not be affected by paid parking. People in this group can either walk to Main Street to do whatever business they might have there or have long ago given up visiting Main Street unless it is absolutely necessary anytime of the year. And while time will no doubt tell how on street paid parking will fare, we suspect that it is this fourth group of people who will be the least troubled by it all. In this case, being able to wait to visit Main Street until the fall is a plus.

PLEASE NOTE: Comments regarding this column may be made by mail at 105 Pioneer Street, Cooperstown, NY 13326, by telephone at 607-547-8124 or by e-mail at cellsworth1@stny.rr.com