Diagonal Parking for Downtown Warren, especially around Courthouse Square, has been a “hot button” issue of discussion for many years.
Last Fall, the present Administration in a move that seemed more appeasement than conviction, went ahead and put a limited amount of diagonal spaces on High Street and North Park.
One of the arguments used by the “powers to be” against diagonal parking, which is the overwhelming favorite way of parking by Downtown Merchants, seemed to be the “liability” factor. Heard in every discussion was “the accident rate will increase” and this “will be a lawyers dream in suing.”
Another argument against was “It will slow down traffic and cause back logs.” HEY! That’s a GOOD thing.
Those who are using Market Street and High Street as a race track to travel through from one side of town to the other, WILL find an alternate route.
For example, during the Italian Festival, which closes off ALL of Market at the Courthouse and “bottles” up traffic on North Park, people find other routes to their destination if it’s not the Downtown Area.
Well it’s time to evaluate. Has the accident rate increased BECAUSE of diagonal parking? I BELIEVE NOT.
How about we re-visit the issue and 1) Expand the diagonal parking on both sides of High Street to go all the way to Chestnut. 2) Bring the spaces back to a reasonable 45 degree angle and thereby increasing the number of spots available and 3) Develop both sides of Main Street from South Street to Market as diagonal parking and the East-side of Main to High along Courthouse Square.
Part of the focus on Downtown needs to be the “Pedestrian Friendly” access and comfort as we make an “IMPACT” on the Development of the Historic Area.
The 3rd point that I made about diagonal parking along Main Street has another purpose, that of drawing attention to the easy accessibility to the often thought of “white elephant” Parking Deck.
Diagonal parking along Main Street also makes available more parking spaces nearer to the Market Street stores and Courthouse for increased “foot” traffic.
Diagonal Parking is not the CURE to all our problems, but it is another “TOOL” in the City’s “Tool Box.”