Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Parking Problems

 Newfangled Parking Machines

So it comes as no surprise that overall parking revenues are down $52,716 compared to last year. The new Internet based computerized system took some getting used to, and the Spring Street Parking lot--in a super prime town center location--took many months to renovate.

Of course the real cost is hard to calculate as that $52,716--when measure in nickels and dimes-- represents drivers who did not come to our downtown to shop, eat or catch a movie.  Or perhaps they did come, but then drove away in anger and hence may never come back. 

But town officials are working on it.  They made a (long) check list.  And the Chamber of Commerce and new Business Improvement District will chime in with (self) helpful suggestions.

Amherst Parking Machine Problems

Meanwhile, summers in a college town are the slowest/deadliest time of year for business--unless of course you sell frozen yogurt.

FroyoWorld, North Pleasant Street
GoBerry, Amity Street


Anonymous said...

Why can't we make parking in our garage as simple as parking in Northampton's garage?

You go in, you grab a card at the entrance, the first hour is free. You pay for any time over that on the way out, using the card. How easy is that?

To repeat: THE FIRST HOUR IS FREE. Doesn't that make a statement to potential shoppers?

Anonymous said...

Comparing the two Yogurt places:

Go Berry:
"GoBerry frozen yogurt is made with the freshest ingredients. The dairy used to make our yogurt comes from small independent farms within 20 miles of our stores, and does not contain antibiotics or synthetic growth hormones. We make our frozen yogurt fresh daily on site, and take pride in serving only the highest quality ingredients."


"INGREDIENTS: Pasteurized and Cultured Skim Milk, Water, Sugar, Nonfat Dry Milk, Skimmed Yogurt Powder, Citric Acid, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Natural Flavors, Food Starch, Corn Syrup, Carrageenan, Pectin. Contains the following live and active cultures: S. thermophilus, L. bulgaricus, L. lactis, L. acidophilus and Bifidobacterium."

One uses local ingredients, supporting local businesses and the other adds corn syrup, etc. Now which do you think tastes better?

Anonymous said...

LOL .. the parking manifesto ... Line N reads ...

Description: "Discover Card not registering"

Plan "Duncan and PP say the system working"

Status "Tested Discover Card. It did not work. Notified Duncan"

Categorize this as the tail wagging the dog!

Anonymous said...

how long do you think these 2 yogurt places will stay in business, along with the new and improved Bart's?

Anonymous said...

Almost every time I have been in Amherst and used the new meters, I have had to help someone to explain how to use them. The directions are far from clear, and it is mostly elderly people I have had to help. Not only that, but there are now lines at the boxes due to the confusion. I've watched people walk away in frustration, not paying for parking, and risking a ticket rather than wait to use the machines. I heard someone saying that Northampton's system is so much easier than what Amherst has now, and it is faster too. They were right.

Anonymous said...

One of the problems, particularly with the CVS lot, is that unless you are a member of the digital generation, who can quickly punch in all three digits within a fraction of a second, the machine instead goes into diagnostic mode.

Because of a disability, I have to write down the space number and then punch the digits one at a time. For space #129 it is push "1", look to paper and see next number is "2", find "2" on keypad and push it, and then by this point it is in some autodiagnostic mode and NO ONE can use it for a couple minutes until it resets.

I imagine the same thing is true with the elderly. And I don't go downtown anymore -- I go to the malls.

Anonymous said...

@anon 9:12, oh how you whet my appetite...mmmm, carrageenan

Anonymous said...

Haven't tried Froyo but GoBerry tastes awful, natural or not.

Larry Kelley said...

My kids love it (as do I).

Helen said...

We love GoBerry and try to frequent it as much as possible. It is now our favorite treat place.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Love GoBerry, but it's in spite of their really mediocre, tasteless product.

They will really need to step up their taste if they are to survive...