Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Yes we can!

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With all this talk about parking in downtown Amherst—specifically the lack of it—and with me actually agreeing for the first time in quite a while with today’s Gazette editorial suggesting the town NOT give away parking for free to stimulate business, you would think town officials would remember that the once controversial Parking Garage (costing about $40,000 per addition space gained) was specifically designed to e-x-p-a-n-d.

In fact, the Amherst Redevelopment Authority donated the prime location (valued at $350,000) under only one condition: that the garage be built strong enough to support a second (much cheaper to construct) deck.

Well at least one former town official remembered, as he snail-mailed me the actually blueprint from 1998. And at the time the cost was $1.3 million for 55 new spaces gained—or a Hell of a lot cheaper than the original cost per space for our quaint little garage.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Should have done it in the first place.

dominique said...

Anon: Have you been around long enough to remember the "process" involved in building the original parking "garage'?

LarryK4 said...

Probably not but then the town manager has not either.

And he keeps talking about making the town more business friendly.

Maybe we can get Stan Rosenberg to get us another grant for the expansion.

He could argue that the first $3 million (matched by the town with $1 million) built a garage Soooooo successful that we need to expand.

Would be a LOT easier to get through Town Meeting if the state was paying for some of it.

Anonymous said...

This should be on the list for Stimulus Bill money. It should have been one of shovel ready projects.

LarryK4 said...

Looks pretty shovel ready to me.

But then, we would have to bury some of the tree-huggers first (metaphorically speaking of course)

Anonymous said...

Ryan Willey Said:
Spilled milk sours and eventually dries up over time. For those who offered a different vision of a garage than the one we currently have my thanks go out to you. Let us learn from the past to prevent short falls in the future.
Ryan

Ed said...

Why not take the Republican approach and SELL the to-be-built spaces on the top deck? There is a shortage of reserved spaces already, there are a lot of businesses and people (and UMass students) who would gladly pay on a monthly/yearly basis for a space and if you can show a revenue stream that pays for the project, well that ought to solve the price issue....

Or make the entire bottom floor monthly pass and card entry which would also save money on enforcement...

Anonymous said...

Or one other project that would be on the level of Obama Stimulus: The Amherst Big Dig.

Notice how Route 9 goes up a steep hill to cross through downtown and then goes back down? We could cut down and tunnel under downtown, creating the Route 9 bypass that has been discussed for nearly half a century now.

The existing Route 9 would then become just a local access road, no through traffic, thus allowing parking on both sides of it. And east/west traffic wouldn't be clogging downtown anymore.

Anonymous said...

Gee Ed,

Why not take the Republican approach and have each person build their own space since they don't believe in government and are rugged individualists.

p.s. UMass, UMass, UMass.

Anonymous said...

How about new parking near Kelley Square instead, and getting more businesses going nearby along Main St and College St? The buses and trains run there too. Multimodal transportation centers are all the rage now There'd be state and federal grants, and also private funds from developers, for that.

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, typical socialist response: take more private land (I assume you would also take Classic Chevy as well, and they have been in the "transportation" business since 1883) rather than economically using what you already have.

Anonymous said...

Why not take the Republican approach and have each person build their own space since they don't believe in government and are rugged individualists.

You are describing libertarians, possibly anarchists, not Republican Conservatives....

Sorry, facts do matter....