More Info on Newark, OH

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More Info on Newark, OH

Mark Spearman, webmaster for the local Newark web site and blogger – see his work here – has some comments on my take RE parking in downtown Newark:

You would have to understand that there really isn’t a parking problem at all. There is a massive amount of free parking that is very close to any downtown store. People are just to lazy to walk. The parking enforcement was useless considering that there is no problem to begin with. There is a free parking garage and huge free parking lots. Newark, Ohio is one of the few cities that really doesn’t have a parking problem. The decline in business is due to the decline in the economy and an increase in homeless and mentally ill people roaming the streets begging for money. You can’t walk 20 feet without someone asking you for a dollar. With plenty of shopping and entertainment in close by shopping malls, the obsolete downtown suffers a common fate, but parking is the last reason that there is a hardship.

Can’t argue with that, and won’t try – however I might add a bit. He uses the word “free” a couple of times in his piece. That could be the problem. If they charged for parking (businesses could validate for those that shopped with them if they felt it necessary) they would free up on street spaces and people would quickly decide to go into the “free” structure. Monies raised could be used to clean up the area, provide some PR for the downtown, and then perhaps people would come back. He is right of course; people don’t pass over areas because of parking or lack of it.

Time for downtown to begin to compete with the mall. Think outside the box. If you build it they will come.

JVH

John Van Horn

John Van Horn

2 Responses

  1. He’s missing the point of the original article, which was that since there is no enforcement nobody honors the time limits. “Free” was never the issue, the issue was “abuse” of the time limited spaces by employees. The object of control of on-street spaces (whether thru price or time limits) is to create turnover, thereby allowing multiple customers to utilize the same spot throughout the day. If employees take all of the spots during all of the business hours in a day then the result is a perception that there is never any parking near the stores.
    The one unchangeable habit of drivers is that they will almost always drive to the “front door” and then start looking for a place to park. If they know they have a chance of getting a spot right in front or just down the street then if they occasionally have to park in a garage or lot a couple blocks away it’s not that big of a deal. But, if every time they come down they see they have no chance of a spot in the immediate vicinity of their destination then the perception of “no parking” is formed.
    If you don’t believe that just go sit in a Mall or Supermarket parking lot sometime and observe the driving patterns. There is a reason those businesses make their employees park in the outer reaches of the parking lots.

  2. I didn’t miss any points of the article. I think you’re wrong. I’m saying there is parking all over downtown Newark, Ohio. It would take a very lazy person to pass over store just because there was no parking directly in front of a store. There is enough parking that everyone can access downtown.
    Malls and supermarkets do not require the employees to park out in the far areas. The employees do that so that their cars don’t get hit, vandalized, or robbed from sitting in the high traffic areas for a long period of time.

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