To the Editor:
I would like to point out with the new Jefferson-Houston School project how horrible parking is in the city. At the groundbreaking ceremony there were many city and school officials there and some residents plus others. The school parking lot currently has 124 parking spaces. There was not enough parking space for those who attended the affair. People were actually parking on top of the basketball court. They were also parking in the streets where residents normally park, but because of this event residents could not park near their homes. This is just one more event that the city holds that does not accommodate people using and needing parking for.
I am not sure why the city seems to think that people are going to stop using their cars, and why they think they need to take away parking. As a resident, I have to pay a yearly fee to be able to park near my home. Tourists and others that may use the metro or just come to our city do not have to pay a yearly fee, and depending on where they park they can park for free. With the new school building coming, the project plans to open the current parking lot by the pool and wrap a driveway around the Olde Towne Swimming Pool. They plan to only give us one more parking space. With so many amenities on this block, and with so many city events that start and end near the Osgood Durant Center, why not add parking? Why not leave the Buchanan Street Park and the basketball court where they are and add the 30-40 more parking spaces that could be put in place directly behind the Durant Center? Save the money that it will take to move these two amenities a few feet from where they currently sit, and once the school is disassembled from the Durant Center, put more parking behind it so the city can have the parking for the events that are held multiple times during the year. Give more parking to the Durant Center for their events, allow more parking for the school and their visitors, open more parking for the swimming pool.
This year in particular with the Chinquapin Recreation Center pool closing for the summer, there will be more people coming from other areas to use our pool. Why do the residents always have to foot the bill, why do we have to be put out during these events? On the First Night event alone there are so many more cars in the city and they are all looking for somewhere to park. Please mayor, council, school superintendent, School Board members reconsider this. Instead of making it unsafe for people using the pool, or crossing the block to get to the metro, or even to the school, leave our parking lot, our playground, and basketball court where they are, and wrap the driveway around the Durant Center which would also allow for more parking for the new play field that will be constructed. We need parking, we also need safety. Think about this, people are not going to stop using their cars, and as a city this needs to be addressed.