These are Mayor’s notes from the Chatham Area Business Alliance (CABA) board meeting of 8/9/12, where they requested an update from me on the Parking Lot Behind Main St. project.
It is my firm belief that this lot should be constructed. But it cannot be funded solely by the Village, because the lot would benefit a much bigger community, the five Chathams, Columbia County, and beyond. This project might appropriately fall under business development in the Hudson Valley.
Parking Lot Behind Main St. – CABA meeting
In July, the proposal to have LaBerge come and do a parking study was voted down by the Village Board. THe VIllage did not budget for this, and quite simply, does not have the funds.
The LaBerge study should be done with intent of determining whether this lot should be constructed or not. If LaBerge says ‘yes, build that lot’, then we go ahead and seek grants for assisting in the construction.
CABA’s Parry Teasdale says the study should drive the grant writing. Do the study with the intent of building this lot, not just do ‘the study to nowhere’, a pointless exercise.
An earlier (1999?)study was done that pointed out plenty of parking on distant streets and lots, spots on Kinderhook St, Fairgrounds, Crellin Park. CABA noted that no one will use these facilities. Parking has to be near the use. We also need better signage for existing parking.
CABA’s Kathy Stumph’s concern is that should this lot not go ahead, the CSX may barricade the entire back lot, and THAT will be a problem.
Thoughts are that this lot be 100% funded by grants and parking revenue, with some profit to offset maintenance. Would this be metered parking, or dedicated spaces rented by the year?
Beyond the construction costs, what is the yearly upkeep requirement of snowplowing, sealing, and striping? What is insurance? Don’t forget to add the yearly Lease from CSX.
Some business owners and workers are parking all day in 2 hr muni spots. This practice takes valuable customer spaces away, leads to fewer sales, and loss of business. CABA will make courtesy cards to put in car windows of regular offenders. If it persists that business owners continue to park in 2 hr spots, CABA will come to the Board asking for assistance in the problem.
- increased parking enforcement
- higher fines for parking ticket
- consider pay-for-parking: muni-meters.
- improved signage for parking zones
- clearly designate municipal parking lots
- handicapped space re-instated on Main St.
- enforce crosswalks by PD
- signs to highlight crosswalks
Stop sign at Railroad Ave :
CABA’s Steve Campbell is very concerned about potential accidents. He is seeing an increase in stop sign violations with southbound traffic on Railroad Ave, and he points out the following:
- Roll-thru’s are getting more frequent and occur at higher rates of speed.
- PD re-enforcement would help reduce violations
- Park empty squad car near intersection
- Issue tickets for roll-thru’s
- Call State Police if Chatham is not able to do enforcement.