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Your Opinion

January 24, 2013

In our readers' opinion

Trustee explains position

on parking

I do support paid parking. Our trolleys and peripheral lots will never be successful as long as free parking is available on Main Street. The successful revenue generation at Doubleday convinced me this is a viable way to fund the costly infrastructure needs of the village. I pay for parking when I am on vacation; it only makes sense for summer tourists to support the services they need, as opposed to having the burden rest solely on village taxpayers.

I did listen to residents. I stated in an email (Dec. 13) to fellow trustees: “I do not feel I can vote for paid parking in front of a residence as would occur with the current proposal on lower Pioneer and eastern and western Main.” By the Dec. 20th public hearing, I had received 12 emails, two phone calls and two letters from residents of lower Pioneer (none from any Tillapaughs). No comments from Main Street residents.

At the public hearing, Chamber of Commerce director Pat Szarpa reported that the Chamber surveyed businesses and half supported paid parking, half did not. She stated that paid parking is not seen as a negative, but parking tickets resulting from confusing signage or parking locations are negatives.

In addition to the comments of the Pioneer residents, I felt that the isolated nature of those six residential slots (beyond proposed 15 minute slots, and the Tunnicliff’s loading zone spaces) was confusing, and would require an additional pay/display machine. Stopping paid parking in the middle of the block seemed confusing — ending at Stagecoach Lane, before Stagecoach Coffee seemed a better stopping point.

Obviously, I made a mistake. Perception is reality and the perception is that I singled out the business owned by my brother Martin Tillapaugh. This despite the fact that there is only one, on-street parking space in front of his business and he has one of the largest private parking lots in the downtown, accommodating up to 60 cars. Ironically he often provides parking for adjacent businesses and residents, as well as locals who need to frequent a Main Street business in the summer, but are unable to find parking.

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